The Election Commission’s media department deals with up to 30 politically-related campaign videos a day.
Election Commission(EC) is flagging several campaign videos, on the grounds of religious manipulation, security of juveniles, the prevention of caste-based politics as the Assembly Election in Karnataka is around the corner.
Manjunath Dollin, head of the Department of Information and Public Relations, Karnataka said, “We flag campaign videos if they include any religious locations, children and emblem, among others.” He said that measures are taken to prevent religious and caste-based politics. Also, children are not part of elections so they should not be included in campaign videos.
The Karnataka Legislative Assembly election will take place on May 10, 2023, whoseresults will be announced on May 13, 2022. Ahead of the elections, the ECis receiving and reviewing up to 30 videos per day despite their limited workforce, Manjunath added.
Chethan, a film director, was present in the office with his ‘best friend’, who happened to be a ‘huge Congress fan’. Chethan has directed and produced a six-minute-long campaign video for Congress, which will be launched by tomorrow evening.
The video, had several shots of children, religious monuments and emblems, which were all asked to be removed by Manjunath.
“The department will send me a comprehensive list of all the corrections that we have to follow. We will follow whatever direction is given to us by the Election Commission and once approved, Congress will publish the video from their official channels by tomorrow night,” Chethan said.
He further said that the same video will be used throughout the state by Congress to promote their party ahead of the election.
Venkatesh Kumar, Additional Chief Electoral Officer, said the video campaigning from political parties has increased significantly over the past few years, which has put immense pressure on the department. “Our video supervision team is working day and night to revise all the videos sent to us. Any remarks given by our team is a strict adherence to the election laws and constitution,” he said.
The officer added that even if the video gets approved by the department, the political parties concerned will have to broadcast it in a rally only under the supervision of a returning officer.
Veenadevi, a political analyst, said. “Video campaigning by political parties has become a recent trend, as it drives a lot of people. It is also the byproduct of the digital age that we are living in.”
Citing concerns over the usage of unapproved videos that may cause harm to the public, she said that video campaign is not the right way for campaigning. “Door to door campaigning should remain the primary focus of these political parties, if they are serious about bringing change.”