After Dainik Jagran CEO accepted exit poll as ‘paid content’, CPI demands live telecast of rallies be declared as paid news too

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Lucknow: Following Election Commission’s crackdown on Dainik Jagran for publishing an exit poll after the first phase of ongoing Uttar Pradesh assembly elections in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the daily’s CEO confession that it was a “paid content”, the Communist Party of India (CPI) has appealed to the EC to declare direct telecast of poll rallies by TV channels as ‘paid news’ and ensure level playing field for all political parties.

“Some resourceful parties have successfully managed to get direct telecast of their entire public meetings and press conferences. This facility has not been extended evenly to all political parties,” CPI National Secretary Atul Kumar Anjaan said in a letter to the EC on Thursday.

“During ongoing elections in five states and even after the code of conduct came into force on January 4, 2017, many political parties and individuals have been openly violating the guidelines issued by the EC. They have been making appeals on religious and casteist lines,” he said.

“I appeal to the CEC to ensure level playing field to all political parties. Besides I request you to take stringent action against all those making appeals in the name of caste and religion,” he said.

Earlier, the Uttar Pradesh Police conduc