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Paid news: EC issues 167 notices to candidates

New Delhi, February 19 (PTI): In the ongoing Assembly polls for five States, the Election Commission has so far issued 167 notices to candidates who allegedly paid for the publication of news in their favour in various media outlets. However, there had been no complaints about candidates resorting to paid news in Manipur and Uttarakhand, which went to polls on January 28 and 30 respectively, officials said. The EC on October 20, 2011, had disqualified Umlesh Yadav, MLA from Bisauli Assembly Constituency, after finding him guilty of getting news published in his favour during 2007 U.P. polls by paying hefty amount to media outlets. EC officials said this case had served as a deterrent for the candidates in future. However, they admitted that many candidates might be trying to hoodwink the Commission by evolving novel methods in connivance with the media houses this time around.

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