Raipur: Eighteen confirmed cases of paid news — articles or reports for which candidate is believed to have paid the newspaper — were detected in the Chhattisgarh during the campaigning for the just-concluded Assembly polls.

As per the office of Chief Electoral Officer, 37 cases of paid news were reported, notices were sent in 35. Of this, 18 instances were confirmed as paid news by the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee formed by the Election Commission.

The highest number of confirmed cases was reported in the Naxal-affected Bastar district (nine). EC authorities added a total of Rs 50,137 to the election expenditures of BJP and Congress candidates on account of publication of favourable news articles.

Rs 38,596 were added to election expenses of BJP’s candidate from Jagdalpur constituency Santosh Bafna for favourable articles in certain dailies, they said.

Rs 5,802 were added to the Congress’s Shamu Kashyap from the same seat for paid news in a daily and a weekly, they said.

Bastar constituency witnessed one case of paid news and Rs 4,839 added to the election expenditure of Congress’ Lakheshwar Baghel for a report in his favour in a newspaper, the CEO’s office said.

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