The Election Commission on Saturday barred political parties and candidates in West Bengal and Assam from publishing advertisement in print media on April 3 and April 4 for the first phase of the assembly polls, without pre-certification.
In a statement, the poll panel said instances of advertisements of "offending and misleading nature" published in the print media have been brought to the notice of the commission in the past.
"Such advertisements, in the last stage of the election, vitiates the election. The affected candidates and parties will not have opportunity of providing clarification/rebuttal in such cases," it said.
The statement further said: “In order that no such instance is repeated, and no untoward incident takes place because of any inflamatory, misleading or hate advertisements, the Commission, in exercise of its powers under Article 324 of the Constitution and all other powers enabling it in this behalf, hereby directs that no political party or candidate or any other organisation or person shall publish any advertisment in the print media on 3rd and 4th of April, in connection with the 1st phase of election in Assam and West Bengal, unless the contents of the advertisment proposed to be published are got pre-certified by political parties, candidates etc. from the MCMC committee at the state/district level, as the case may be."
A similar direction has been issued to all news papers in Assam and West Bengal not to publish any advertisment which has not been pre-certified by the poll panel.
An advertisement by BJP on beef in newspapers during the Bihar Assembly elections had created controversy, with the rival Nitish Kumar-led alliance knocking the doors of the Election Commission seeking action against it.