Pvt news channel blocked in MP

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Morena, MP, Nov 14 (UNI) Morena assembly constituency's Returning Officer Sandeep Makin has directed cable operators of Morena and Banmor not to beam a private news channel 'Standard Worldwatch' until further notice.

The related order was issued yesterday. Morena's Congress candidate Sobran Singh Mawai complained to District Returning Officer M K Agrawal that state Cabinet Minister Rustam Singh was the constituency's Bharatiya Janata Party nominee and the Minister's son Rakesh Singh was the channel's Director.

The complaint alleged that the channel was being misused to influence the polls as Mr Rakesh Singh was presenting inflated reports that were misleading the common man. Mr Mawai urged action against violation of the Model Code of Conduct. Mr Agrawal had forwarded the complaint to the Election Commission of India (ECI) and Madhya Pradesh's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO). The DRO acted on directives received.

''Emergency is yet to be declared but the CEO sought a description of the channel's reports and is attempting to encroach on freedom of media,'' Gwalior Press Club Secretary Rakesh Anchal wrote in a letter to ECI.

UNI XC-AC 1736

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