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Increased Election Campaign Broadcast Time

  • 10 Oct 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has increased the broadcast time allotted to recognised political parties on Doordarshan and All India Radio to aid campaigning for elections to the Legislative Assembly of Bihar, 2020.

Key Points

  • Broadcast Timings: A base time of 90 minutes will be given to each national party and recognised state party of Bihar uniformly on the regional kendras of Doordarshan network and All India Radio network in Bihar.
    • No party will be given more than 30 minutes in a single broadcast session.
    • Any additional time (beyond the basic 90 minutes) will be given to a party based on its electoral performance in the last Assembly election in 2015.
  • Broadcast Period: The period of broadcast will be between the last date of filing nominations and two days before the date of polling in Bihar.
    • The Prasar Bharati Corporation in consultation with the ECI will decide the actual date and time for broadcast and telecast.
      • Prasar Bharati is India's largest public broadcasting agency. It is a statutory autonomous body set up by the Prasar Bharati Act, 1990 and comprises the Doordarshan Television Network and All India Radio, which were earlier media units of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
    • The parties will be required to submit transcripts and recordings in advance.
  • In addition to the broadcast by parties, the Prasar Bharati Corporation will organise a maximum of four panel discussions and/or debates on the Kendra/Station of Doordarshan/ All India Radio.
    • Each eligible party can nominate one representative to such a programme.
  • Significance: With the pandemic restricting movement and maintenance of safety for the people and party workers through non-contact-based campaign.
    • This can act as an experimental step to reduce the expenditure on physical campaigning.

Types of Parties

  • The Election Commission of India lists political parties as “national party”, “state party” or “registered (unrecognised) party”.
  • The conditions for being listed as a national or a state party are specified under the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968.
  • Conditions for recognized parties:
    • National Party:
      • 6% valid votes polled in any four or more states at a general election to the Lok Sabha or to the State legislative assembly; and, in addition, it wins four seats in the Lok Sabha from any state or states.
      • 2% of all Lok Sabha seats in the last such election, with MPs elected from at least three states.
      • Recognition as a state party in at least four states.
    • State Party:
      • Two seats plus a 6% vote share in the last Assembly election in that state.
      • One seat plus a 6% vote share in the last Lok Sabha election from that state.
      • 3% of the total Assembly seats or 3 seats, whichever is more.
      • One of every 25 Lok Sabha seats (or an equivalent fraction) from a state.
      • An 8% state-wide vote share in either the last Lok Sabha or the last Assembly polls.
  • Loss of Recognised Status:
    • Once recognised as a national or a state party, a political party loses its given status only if it fails to fulfil any of the conditions for two successive Assembly and two successive Lok Sabha elections.
      • That means a party retains that status irrespective of its performance in the next elections.

Source: IE

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