EC rebukes DD News as it gave BJP twice the coverage as Congress

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) got around 160 hours of airtime coverage on DD News and its regional channels, while the Congress got just 80 hours.

According to a report published in the Indian Express, taking note of it, the Election Commission 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.

Election Commission had directed the state-owned broadcaster to “desist” from extending preferential coverage in favour of any particular party, less than a week ago.

In a strongly-worded letter to the Secretary of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, the EC on 9 April, 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…”

After Opposition parties complained that the national broadcaster was being biased, the EC had issued a show cause notice to DD News for showing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ programme for nearly one hour.