Election Commission Must Treat PTC Broadcasts Overseas as Election Expenditure - 16/12/2011

Dr S Y Quarishi
Chief Election Commissioner
Nirvachan Sadan,
Ashoka Road,

New Delhi-110001

16 December 2011

Dear Dr Quarishi

Election Commission Must Treat PTC Broadcasts Overseas as Election Expenditure

I wish to bring to your attention that it has recently been proven that Sukhbir Singh Badal and his wife, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, are the owners of PTC TV station and its associated channels which are owned via Orbit Resorts Pvt Ltd and its subsidiary Gurbaz Media Pvt Ltd. PTC has significantly benefitted from Punjab Government funds, as admitted by Sukhbir Badal, to the tune of around Rs70 lakhs. However, the actual figure is likely to be significantly higher if other departments and agencies are included.

Under the Election Commission rules on party expenditure during elections I hope that the Badal’s personal ownership of this TV station will be taken into account and that the use of this channel for spreading SAD propaganda will be curtailed. The continual broadcast of advertising for the SAD and the Badal leadership must be stopped or added to SAD election expenditure in this campaign. Additionally, general SAD propaganda programming masquerading as factual must also be taken into account as advertising and noted against election expenditure accordingly.

This channel broadcasts in India and to the Punjabi Diaspora worldwide including in, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA. PTC has, for many of the almost 5 million Punjabis overseas, become a significant channel for its Punjabi language content. Unfortunately much of the programming of PTC is propaganda for the SAD and, especially, the leadership of S. Prakash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Badal.

I request that costs of use of this channel for SAD promotional programming and advertising, including overseas, be apportioned to the SAD and its candidates during the upcoming campaign. In the event that this is done judiciously many, if not all, SAD candidates would effectively be disqualified.

Yours sincerely

Jassi Khangura MLA

Halqa Qila Raipur

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