Poll Panel Restricts Access to Headquarters, Only Press With Permission from CEC or ECs Allowed to Enter

The prohibition of the campaigning will come into effect from 10 pm on May 16 and will continue till the conclusion of voting on May 19.

New Delhi: The Election Commission on Saturday said that only journalists and media personnel with prior permission from the chief electoral officer or electoral officers will be allowed to enter its headquarters at Delhi’s Nirvachan Sadan building.

In an internal order dated April 20, the EC has directed that entry passes to journalists, media personnel and the press will be issued by the reception officer “only after prior written permission from the offices of the chief electoral officer or the electoral officers”. They may also be issued passes with the prior written confirmation from DECs or DGs, it added.

The commission said Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel on duty at the building will ensure that only those with valid authorisation are allowed to enter.

This is the first time that the poll panel has issued such an order regarding the press. While journalists earlier were required to have passes on the basis of written orders, the new order does not mention officers other than the CEC or ECs who can issue such passes.

While even journalists accredited with the Press Information Bureau (PIB) need special passes to access the Commission building, the order is being seen as a step to control or monitor journalists.