Allotment of Broadcast/Telecast time to Recognized National/State Political Parties – Lok Sabha Elections 2019
General Election to Lok Sabha 2019 and State Legislative Assemblies 2019 – Allotment of Broadcast/Telecast time to Recognized National/State Political Parties
A copy of the Order No.437/TVs-LS/1/2019/Communication, dated 23rd March, 2019 issued by the Commission regarding allotment of Broadcast/Telecast time to Recognized National/State political parties in the General Election to Lok Sabha- 2019 is attached below for the information of the general public.
ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA
Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi-110001
No. 437/TAs-LS/1/2019/Communication Dated: 23rd March, 2019
At the time of General Election to Lok Sabha, in February, 1998 the Election Commission of India had taken up a new initiative for state funding of recognized political parties, through free use of state owned Television and Radio under directions of the Commission (vide order No. ECI/GE98/437/MCS/98 dated 16th January 1998).
- The scheme was discussed in detail with representative of all National and State recognized political parties on the eve of the Lok Sabha Election in 1998. All the parties welcomed the proposed of the Election Commission of India. The Commission in comprehensive consultation with the Prasar Bharti Corporation, Doordarshan and All India Radio gave the operational parameters of the scheme.
- The said scheme was subsequently extended in all the General Elections to the Lok Sabha in 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014 and General Elections to the State Assemblies, held after 1998.
- With the amendment to the Representation of the People Act 1951, vide Election and Other Related Laws (Amendment) Act, 2003 and the rules notified there under, equitable time-sharing for campaigning by recognized political parties on electronic media now has statutory basis. In exercise of the powers conferred by clauses (a) of the Explanation below section 39A of the Representation of the People Act 1951 the Central Government has notified all such broadcasting media which are owned or controlled or financed wholly or substantially by funds provided to them by Central Government as the electronic media for the purpose of that section. The Commission has, therefore, now decided in consultation with Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to extend the scheme of equitable time sharing on electronic media through Prasar Bharti Corporation to the ensuing General Elections to Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies of certain (Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha & Sikkim) States 2019.
- Accordingly, the Commission has hereby directed as follows: –
Parties eligible for Telecast/Broadcast facility:
i. The above facility of use of Doordarshan (DD) and All Indian Radio (AIR) shall be available in connection with the forthcoming General Elections to the House of People and Legislative Assemblies of certain states, only to those seven (7) National Parties and 52 State Parties, which are at present recognized as such National or State Parties, under the provision of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 and whose names are shown in the list annexed hereto as Annexure-I. This facility will not be available to registered-unrecognised political parties or any independent candidates.
Total time allotted for Telecast/broadcast:
ii. The Prasar Bharti Corporation shall set apart
a. A total of not less than 10 hours of telecasting time on the National channel of the Doordarshan for telecasts by the National Parties.
b. A total of not less than 15 hours of telecasting time on the Regional Doordarshan Kendras, for telecasts by the National Parties.
c. A total of not less than 30 hours of telecasting time on the Regional Doordarshan Kendras, for telecasts by the State Parties and
d. A total of 8 hour 40 minutes of telecasting time through the regional Satellite services channel available to viewers across the whole country.
ON ALL INDIA RADIO
a. A total of not less than 10 hours of broadcasting time on the National hookup of the All India Radio for broadcasts by the National Parties.
b. A total of not less than 15 hours of broadcasting time on the regional Air Stations, for broadcasts by the National Parties.
c. A total of not less than 30 hours of broadcasting time on the Regional AIR Stations of the All India Radio for broadcasts by the State Parties and
d. A total of 8 hour 40 minutes of broadcasting time on the National hookup of All India Radio broadcasts by the State Parties.
Allocation of Time to each party
iii. Each National and State party shall be allotted time for telecasts over Doordarshan and broadcasts on All India Radio, according to the following parameters: –
For National Parties:
(a) Of the ten hours telecasting/broadcasting time reserved over the National channel/hookup of DD/AIR for the National Parties, 45 (forty five) minutes shall be allotted to each of the 7 National parties, i.e. a total of five hours and fifteen minutes (5-15 hrs), each on the DD & AIR Separately;
(b) The remaining four hours and forty five minutes (4 hrs., 45 minutes) telecasting/ broadcasting time shall be further divided among the seven National parties, according to the percentage of votes polled by each such party, at the last General Election to the House of People held in 2014.
(c) In addition, each National party shall be allotted one and a half times of the total time allotted to it under sub-paras (a) and (b) above, for telecasts/broadcasts on the Regional Doordarshan Kendras/Regional AIR Station;
(d) Of the total time so allotted to each National Party under sub-para (c), each such party shall have the option to utilise the time so allotted on any of the Regional Doordarshan Kendra/State Capital AIR Station: provided that not more than one-tenth (1/10th) of such time shall be utilised by it at any one Regional Doordarshan Kendras/AIR Stations
For State Parties:
(a) Of the total time of thirty (30) hours reserved for telecasting/broadcasting by the State parties on the Regional DD Kendras/Regional AIR Stations, each of 52 State Parties shall be allotted thirty (30) minutes i.e. a total of twenty six (26) hours, each on DD and AIR separately;
(b) The remaining twelve hours and four hours (4 hours) telecasting/broadcasting time for parties shall be further divided among the said 52 State Parties, according to the percentage of votes polled by each such party in the State(s) in which it is recognized, at the last General Election to the House of the People held in 2014.
(c) In addition, each State Party shall be allotted 10 minutes telecasting/broadcasting time on Regional Satellite Services channel of DD available to viewers across the whole country and the National hookup of AIR.
Time Vouchers for Parties
iv. Each party shall be given time vouchers of denomination of 5 minutes and fraction of 4, 3, 2 & 1 minute(s) equal to the total time allotted to it for telecasts on Doordarshan and Broadcasts on AIR. That Party shall have the discretion to choose and representatives and allow them to use those time vouchers, provided that no such individual representative shall be allowed to use more than 20 minutes of the total time allotted to that party, either on Doordarshan or on AIR.
Date of Telecasts/Broadcasts
(v) The above telecasts/broadcasts shall span between the last date of nominations for the first phase and two days prior to the last of the dates of poll anywhere in India in case of Parliamentary elections, and the relevant State or States where elections for the respective State Assemblies are also being held simultaneously. The Prasar Bharati Corporation, in consultation with the Commission, will decide and announce the days of the week and the time slots during which these telecasts/broadcasts will be made.
(vi) The actual date and time during which the above telecasts/broadcasts will be made by the authorized representatives of any party shall be predetermined, by lot, by the Prasar Bharti Corporation, in consultation with the Commission.
(vii) While deciding about such Dates and Time, it shall be ensured that fairness and equity is maintained as far as possible and having due regard to the technical constraints in regard to the occasion and time for the telecasts/broadcasts by such parties.
Guidelines for observance in Telecasts/Broadcasts
(viii) The telecasts/broadcasts on Doordarshan/AIR will not permit;
Criticism of other countries;
Attack on religions or communities;
Anything obscene or defamatory;
Incitement of violence
Anything amounting to contempt of court
Aspersions against the integrity of the President and Judiciary;
Anything affecting the unity, sovereignty and integrity of the Nation:
Any criticism by name of any persons.
Submission of Transcripts in advance
(ix) The parties or their representatives shall have to submit, in advance, within the time frame as indicated by the Prasar Bharati Corporation on account of technical constrains, the transcripts of their telecasts/broadcasts to the authorities specified in this behalf by the Prasar Bharati Corporation. Parties can have their transcripts, after approval, recorded at their cost in Private Studios, Meeting required technical standards of the Prasar Bharati Corporation, provided that the symbol of the party with a wide background can be shown in any video recording. In case they require facilities of the Prasar Bharati Corporation, both Doordarshan and All India Radio, they will give sufficient advance notice to the concerned Station Director to make necessary arrangements.
Panel Discussions and Debate
(x) In addition to the above-mentioned Party telecasts/broadcasts, the Prasar Bharati Corporation may organise a maximum of two national panel discussion/debates on the national channel of Doordarshan and All India Radio. Each nationally recognized Party can nominate one representative to such programmes.
The Election Commission of India will approve the names of moderators for such panel discussion and debates in consultation with the Prasar Bharati Corporation.
(xi) In the State, where Assembly elections are also being held simultaneously, similar debates and penal discussions may be arranged from the Regional Kendras of Doordarshan and All India Radio of elections to the concerned State Assemblies. In these programmes, the concerned State recognized parties will be permitted to participate.
Powers of the Election Commission to remove Difficulties
- Notwithstanding anything contained in Para 6, the Election Commission may issue each further directions and instructions: –
(a) for the clarification of any of the provisions of this Order; or
(b) for the removal of any doubt which may arise in relation to the implementation of any such provision; or
(c) in relation to any matter with respect to the allotment of time to, or utilization of time by, any recognized National or State Party, for which this order makes no provision or makes insufficient provision, necessary for the smooth an orderly implementation of the scheme covered by this Order.
(d) the time allocated to the National and State Parties, has been worked out and annexed hereto as Annexure I, II, III & IV.
(Dilip K Verma)
GENERAL ELECTION TO LOK SABHA, 2019
Time available to National Parties on National Channel/Hook-Up of Doordarshan/All India Radio