The Election Commission (EC) has asked DD News channel to ensure a level playing field for all political parties. The EC has observed that DD News had given disproportionate airtime coverage to political parties and thus did not follow the principle of maintaining neutrality and a level playing field.
Level playing field means each party and each candidate, irrespective of their size or popularity, is given the equal opportunity to put their case to voters.
Opposition parties had alleged that DD News, an official broadcaster, had given preferential treatment to the party in power and the channel has been used to promote and advertise election campaign for the party. The oppositions had sought EC’s intervention alleging that this was a violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
Model code of Conduct (MCC) are the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India for conduct of political parties and candidates during elections.
Issue of advertisement at the cost of public money in the newspapers and other media and the misuse of official mass media during the election period for partisan coverage of political news and publicity regarding achievements amounts to violation of MCC.