Agartala, Feb 1: Media organisations in the election-bound northeastern states of Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland have been asked not to accept any kind of inducement, financial or otherwise to project a candidate or a party, poll panel officials said here Friday.
People who flout these rules will be punished with imprisonment up to two years and/or fines.
“Besides any kind of incentive, financial or otherwise, the media should not accept hospitality or other facilities offered by the party or a candidate to project them in the polls,” Tripura chief electoral officer Ashutosh Jindal told reporters here.
“The (Election) Commission has issued a set of guidelines for the media organisations in the three poll-bound states. Any person who contravenes the guideline shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.”
According to the poll panel guidelines, it will be the duty of the press to give objective reporting about elections and the candidates. Newspapers are not expected to indulge in unhealthy election campaigns, exaggerated reports about any candidate and party or incident during the elections.
“The media should eschew reports, which tend to promote feelings of enmity or hatred between people on the ground of religion, race, caste, community or language,” the rules said.
The 11-point guidelines also said that media shall not accept and publish any advertisement at the cost of public exchequer regarding achievements of a party or a government in power.