Shimla, Nov 1
Media Certification and Monitoring Committee traced a case of ‘paid news’ on the base of news items appeared in favour of BJP candidate.
The MC&MC Solan took the coginzance of a news items on October 18 which was about Election campaign of a BJP candidate. Committee found that similar news items and having similar photographs appeared in four news paper
Notice was issued to Rattan Pall BJP candidate of Arki Assembly Constituencies on October 21, 2021. SDM Arki issued notice to candidate on October 21 stating that Media Certification & Monitoring Committee had taken cognizance on October 18 news item appeared in various news papers( Amar Ujala, Dainik Jagran , Himachal Dastak and ” Dainik Savera ).
Notice said that same contents of news in various papers is self explanatory of paid news and is clear cut violation of Model Code of Conduct . The new items appeared in various papers about Mangal Pandey former In-charge , political affairs campaigning in favour of BJP candidate Ratan pal.
Show cause notice was also issued to party candidate that why action should not taken under section 77 ( 1 ) of RP Act , 1951. Notice said that Rattan Singh Pal should be given one opportunity to explain his stand on the above mentioned news within 48 hours from the receipt of this notice , failing to which decision of MCMC will be final without any further reference to him .
In reply to Returning Officer cum SDM Arki, BJP candidate election agent Harish Kaushal on October 23 denied of charge stating that notice was wrong and false.
We have not violated any condition of Model Code of Conduct as imposed by Election Commission of India and by your good office, he added.
Party however accepted that Mangal Pandey had visited Arki Vidhan Sabha as mentioned in the news item and he campaigned in favor of party Candidate.
Mangal Pandey is a national leader of BJP and he was the youngest State President of Bihar BJP and remained incharge of BJP HP for five years and presently he is Health Minister of Bihar Government .
He had addressed some meetings during his visit as per his tour program which was published in many newspapers and his entire tour was covered by the media but neither Candidate nor any of Candidate’s agent ever approach and asked any newspaper as mentioned by you to publish any content news as alleged .
“Candidate had not violated any MCC and the allegation is unfair, derogatory and defamatery that it was a paid news. This is wild imagination devoid of any evidence. We reserve the right to defend the defamatory allegation in court of law. ” Party leader warned in reply to notice.
BJP agent also said that even the contents and Photographs are different in different Newspapers as such it appear that someone is either biased or have conspired against BJP Candidate . Party demanded to withdraw the notice.
After receiving the reply on October 27 a meeting of District Level Media Certification and Monitoring Committee was held under the chairmanship of District Election Officer and Deputy Commissioner, Solan, Krutika Kulhari, in which members of the committee SDM Arki Ajay Kumar Yadav, Correspondent, Doordarshan and All India Radio, Solan Laxmidutt Sharma, Editor Himalayan Dawn Baldev Chauhan, District Public Relation Officer Hemant Vats, read the reply of election agent of Rattan Singh Pal candidate .
On scrutiny of the reply received by the candidate in the meeting, the committee found that no such fact or information has been given in this answer to prove that the concerned news is not a paid news.
Thereforee, Committee, on re-examination of the candidate’s election agent’s reply and newspapers, found that the above news comes under the category of paid news.
Committee found that because (1)Similar photographs have been published in Dainik Jagran, Dainik Savera and Amar Ujala newspapers on the same day. (2 )The headline of the news published in Himachal Dastak and Dainik Jagran newspaper is literally the same. ( 3) All the news are almost same.
A meeting convened by District Election Officer and Chairman Media Certification and Monitoring Committee at Solan, on October 28 in the context of paid news. During the meeting district Level Media Certification and Monitoring Committee made the secrutiny of reply received on behalf of the candidate and it was found that no such fact has been presented in the reply given by the election agent of the candidate, which excludes those news from the category of paid news. Therefore, keeping these news in the category of paid news, the committee decided to take further action. Now committee kept the news in the category of paid news and District Level Media Certification and Monitoring Committee informed the Returning Officer Arki for further action.
Further action on the paid news expected as par the People Representative Act.