Wednesday, September 1, 2010

EC seeks Press Council's help

The Election Commission of India seeks the help of the Press Council of India in monitoring paid news during election time.Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi said in a press conference‘paid news' “has assumed serious proportions and is more pronounced in some States.". The candidate's expenditure monitoring cell will be tightened by the commission, reports The Hindu.

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PANAJI: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has sought the help of the Press Council of India (PCI) in monitoring the media-related malpractices like “paid news” during elections as its jurisdiction is limited to going into candidate's election spending.

Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi told a press conference here on Tuesday that ‘paid news' indulged in by some sections of the media “has assumed serious proportions and is more pronounced in some States.”

As far as the Commission was concerned, it was making all efforts to tighten the candidate's expenditure monitoring cell which is headed by an Income Tax Officer. This cell would work in close cooperation with the PCI to monitor practices like “paid news” which were eventually directly related to the influence of money power in the elections, he said.

Mr. Quraishi was in Goa along with Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath to chair a conference of chief electoral officers from the west zone which includes Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Goa and the Union Territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

He said the ECI was going ahead with a nationwide programme to increase the participation of youth in the electoral process as it was noticed that often they were not aware of their voting right or seemed to be disillusioned for diverse reasons and kept away from the election process.

“We want to give the youth a sense of participation in the election process. This segment is generally omitted from the voters' list because very often they are cynical about democratic processes,” he said.

“We are celebrating National Voter's Day on January 25, when the Election Commission was founded 60 years ago, one day before the country became a republic,” Mr. Quraishi said.

He said a nationwide drive would be conducted on January 25 in an attempt to induct 2 crore youngsters turning 18 that month into the electoral process.

A programme covering 8.5 lakh voting booths across the country would be held that day to distribute photo identity cards to as many as 2.5 crore eligible voters.

The ECI has so far issued 714 million voting cards across the country.


On the reliability of electronic voting machines (EVMs), Mr. Quraishi reiterated his complete faith in the EVM technology which he said had stood the test of time since it was first introduced in 1982.

Read the article on Miracle Of Democracy.

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