BJD alleges violation of EC Guidelines by OTV; channel strongly refutes

Bhubaneswar: A delegation of the Biju Janata Dal, including party spokespersons Sasmit Patra and Sulochana Das today moved Chief Electoral Officer alleging violation of the ‘Election Commission Guidelines’ by OTV, Odisha’s leading media house. The delegation sought action against the channel stating that it telecast a press conference of Bharatiya Janata Party during silence period.

After meeting the CEO, Patra said, “OTV telecast a press meet of BJP live without verifying the content during a ban period. We will also move a petition before the CEO against OTV soon and demand action against the channel.”

However, OTV clearly refuted BJD’s charges and clarified that it did not carry any live telecast of BJP’s press conference.

OTV Clarification:
OTV would like to place facts clearly that the channel did not carry a live telecast of BJP’s press conference. Also the antipathy of the BJD towards OTV is nothing new. It has since a year boycotted participating in OTV discussions and restricted entry of its reporters to Naveen Niwas apart from throttling the channel’s voice on a number of occasions.

Later when Sasmit Patra was asked to if he had seen OTV beaming the presser live and to provide evidence, he dodged the question saying, “I have all the answers but the model code of conduct has tightened my lips. After 6 pm tomorrow, I will be able to provide all answers to media questions. We will not commit the same mistakes like BJP.”

Earlier today, the delegation also levelled charges against the BJP alleging that the party had violated the provisions of the EC by holding press conference during silence period.

The Election Commission of India had earlier issued a notice regarding the silence period which comes into effect 48 hours prior to closing of polls. “During the silence period, star campaigners and other political leaders should refrain from addressing the media by way of press conferences and giving interviews on election matters,” the guidelines say.