The Election Commission (EC) has requested the government to amend provisions of the representation of the People's Act and suggested to extend the existing ban on political advertisements to print media as well, 2 days prior to polling.
Full-page advertisements can be seen in newspapers even in last 48 hours of the polling day. Though such ad campaigns are barred on TV, radio and even on social media, observed EC.
In a meeting with senior officials of legislative department of the law ministry in May, chief election commissioner S Nasim Zaidi and election commissioners A K Joti and O P Rawat said print media should also be covered under Section 126.
The section 126 look after the Representation of the People Act so that campaigns or political advertisements which should also barred newspapers to embodied any sort of ad from any party, within the 48 hours of polling day .
During Bihar assembly elections last year, the EC had to use its constitutional powers under Article 324 to impose a ban on political advertisements in newspapers in various districts of the state. EC said that the advertisements were divisive in nature.
The proposal to include print advertisements under Section 126 of RP Act was first mooted by the EC in April 2012 and was backed by the Law Commission.