BJP got 160 hours, Cong only 80 hrs: EC issues notice to DD news over 'disproportionate' coverage
New Delhi, Apr 15: The Election Commission (EC) on Monday issued a notice to national broadcaster Doordarshan over "disproportionate" coverage time given to political parties since the Lok Sabha election dates were announced and the Model Code of Conduct came into force on 10 March. Less than a week ago, the poll panel had directed the state-owned broadcaster to "desist" from extending preferential coverage in favour of any particular party.
A report shared by Doordarshan News to the EC on April 5 showed that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) got around 160 hours of airtime coverage on the news channel and its regional channels while the main Opposition party, the Congress, got only 80 hours, The Indian Express reported.
Based on this report, the EC on April 9 said the airtime coverage given by DD News was "disproportionate and not balanced".
On 9 April, in a strongly-worded letter to the Secretary of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, the EC said, "Would like you (secretary) to direct the DD News channel to desist from extending any preferential or disproportionate airtime coverage in favour of any party and extend commensurate and balanced coverage of the activities of all recognised political parties..."
The EC had recently issued a show cause notice to DD News for showing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' programme for nearly one hour after Opposition parties complained that the national broadcaster was being biased.