The Delhi chief electoral office has sent a notice to the Bharatiya Janata Party for airing content related to the elections on NaMo TV during the “silence period”, PTI reported on Saturday. The party was reportedly asked to submit a reply by Saturday evening.
All seven constituencies in Delhi will vote on Sunday. The “silence period” in the national Capital began at 6 pm on Friday. The “silence period” is observed 48 hours before conclusion of polling in a particular constituency, and, according to Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, election matter by means of “cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus” is prohibited. Section 126 does not apply to print media.
Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said political campaigning in the city, on the ground or on social media, is supposed to end once the silence period begins. “The notice was sent to the BJP for airing election-related content on NaMo TV even after the silence period began,” he said.
The notice was sent to the party on Friday, an unidentified senior official said.
In April, the Election Commission had said that NaMo TV, a channel sponsored by the BJP, cannot display “election matter” during the prescribed “silence period”. The poll body had also barred the channel from telecasting recorded programmes with political content and political advertisements that are not certified by the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee.
NaMo TV, named after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is available on all major Direct to Home platforms. It features Modi’s speeches and other pro-BJP material. The Aam Aadmi Party had complained to the Election Commission against the channel, claiming it violated the poll code. The BJP also admitted that NaMo TV is run by its information technology cell.