After a strict directive issued by the Election Commission (EC), the parties and its candidates will have no choice but to stay away from any televised programme relating to the elections, 48-hours before the polls.
In a recent directive on media coverage during the Assembly elections in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram, the EC has issued guidelines saying that any 'election matter' through television or other means, within '48 hours' of polls is prohibited.
Candidates appearing in debates can face up to 2 years of imprisonment
The poll panel said that there have been allegations that such discussions and debates by television channels have been used to display 'election matter' within 48 hours of elections, which may influence the mindset of voters.
According to the EC, 'election matter' has been defined as any matter intended or circulated to influence or affect the result of an election.
Any candidate appearing in such discussions or debates could face imprisonment up to two years, or fine or both.