BJP accuses Congress of relying on paid news in Assam


New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday filed a complaint before the Election Commission accusing the Congress of indulging in the “paid news” malpractice in Assam by using a news channel to beam its electoral propaganda.

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In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi, the party alleged that the Congress was misusing the news channel News Live for telecasting biased news and said it “amounts to paid news to influence the voters of the state” for the forthcoming assembly polls.

The party demanded that the commission should take “immediate steps to stop telecast of paid news in the channel News Live”.

It said the channel should be banned from telecasting any type of programme till the assembly elections are over in Assam.

It also sought independent inquiry against the channel and directions to the state Election Commission to monitor the channel and its programming to prevent paid news.

Assam will go for a two-phased poll on April 4 and 11.

The letter singed by BJP vice president M.A. Naqvi among others said the channel has a wide viewership in Assam.

It said that managing director of the channel is the wife of a minister who is contesting the assembly polls.

“The channel is presently running as an agent of the Congress party and screening programmes of the Congress which is nothing but clear case malpractice of paid news,” the letter said.

“The MD of the said channel is openly canvassing for the Congress party and clipping of the same are repeatedly telecast on the channel…the Congress party in collusion with the TV channel namely News Live are opening violating the model code of conduct,” the letter said.