Guj reported 126 confirmed cases of paid news, HP 91: EC

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New Delhi, Dec 17: Gujarat has reported as many as 126 confirmed cases of paid news, while Himachal reported 91 such cases in the Assembly elections in the two states which created a record in terms of voter turnout. Gujarat recorded the highest turnout of 70.20 per cent, much above the highest-ever voting of 64.39 per cent recorded in 1995.

In 2007, Gujarat had recorded a turnout of 59.93 per cent. Himachal, which went to polls last month, also recorded the highest-ever voting of 74.54 per cent, after accounting for postal ballot, which is marginally higher than the previous high of 74.51 per cent.

"While 444 suspected cases of paid news were reported in Gujarat, notices were sent to 224 of them. In Himachal Pradesh polls, the Commission came across 211 suspected cases of paid news and notices were sent in 190 cases and 91 confirmed cases were reported," Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath told reporters here on Monday.

Gujarat's Chief Electoral Officer Anita Karwal said the election authority has identified 126 confirmed cases of paid news during the just-concluded polls, with 61 candidates admitting of have paid for such news in electronic and print media. She said action against the erring candidates is being initiated, which includes adding the paid news expenses in the expenditure of candidates. The CEC said polling in both the states was peaceful, except for minor incidents, but polling was not affected or suspended anywhere.

PTI

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