BHUBANESWAR: The ruling BJD on Tuesday sought the intervention of Election Commission of India (ECI) over the alleged violation of poll guidelines by transmission of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at Bhawanipatna through mobile phone.In a memorandum submitted to Chief electoral officer (CEO) Surendra Kumar, a delegation of BJD leaders comprising spokespersons Sasmit Patra, Sulochana Das, Sulata Deo and Lenin Mohanty demanded that the expenditure of transmission of the PM’s speech should be split between BJP candidates for Kalahandi Parliamentary and Bhawanipatna Assembly seats.
The BJD delegation maintained that as per Section 21.2.13 of the compendium of election guidelines on bulk SMS/voice message during election campaigning, it is clearly mentioned that if telephone messaging is used on phone in election campaigning, it should be in the purview of the pre-certification of election advertisements as in case of TV channels/cable network and radio.
The guidelines also state that the legal provisions as applicable in other modes of electronic media should also be applicable to such bulk SMSs/voice messages. Besides, as per the ECI guidelines, pre-certification of content before before transmission on phone is required from media certification and monitoring committee (MCMC), the BJD leaders said.
The BJD alleged that the speech of the PM, who was campaigning for BJP in Bhawanipatna, was transmitted through bulk voice messaging call in live format using a mobile number 9345014501. This was done without pre-certification from the MCMC, the memorandum said and demanded action against BJP.