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EC nod for new TV channel in Gujarat

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The new TV channel was launched a day after the announcement of the assembly election schedule in the state, only to be shut on October 5, pending clearances.

The Commission has now cleared the launch of the channel but has put certain conditions for monitoring political advertisements and possible paid on the channel during the election period, highly placed sources in the EC told PTI.

The poll body gave its nod to the launch of the channel after the District Electoral Officer of Ahmedabad, where the channel is headquartered, had sought the EC's permission before granting licence to the channel.

After considering the matter, the EC said "the District Electoral Officer, Ahmedabad, may consider whether, in addition to licence under Gujarat Cinema Regulation Act, 2004, any licence/permission is also needed by the new TV channel under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995."

Imposing certain conditions on the channel, the Commission said all political advertisements relayed during election period will have to be first cleared by the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) before telecast.

It also asked the DEO to ensure that all relevant provisions of the Model Code of Conduct are strictly adhered to by the channel during the election period.

Permitting reporting of campaigns in a manner that is newsworthy, the EC has said that "when in the garb of news, the campaign becomes publicity or advertisement for a candidate, it is to be examined by the Committee as case of suspected 'paid news'."

For the 'NaMo Gujarat' channel, the state BJP unit has partnered with five local Gujarati satellite channels in the state which will broadcast the same content and will be aired by all cable networks, direct-to-home (DTH) and digital TV viewers.

The project has been launched under the supervision of state Industries Minister Saurabh Patel, an aide of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, and BJP's Parindu Bhagat (Kakubhai), also a close of the CM.

First Published: Fri, October 12 2012. 19:45 IST