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|August 20, 1999||
Air time allotted to Samta, Lok Shakti challenged
The Election Commission today issued notices to two Janata Dal (united) constituents - the Samata Party and the Lok Shakti - on a petition filed by the Janata Dal (secular) seeking suspension of the recognition given to the two parties and other facilities that go with it.
The two parties have been given time till 1500 hrs IST on August 21 to respond, commission sources said.
The Janata Dal (S), headed by former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, had petitioned the commission on August 18 seeking suspension of recognition given to the three parties as they had joined the Janata Dal (united) led by Sharad Yadav and as such ceased to exist as independent parties.
Quoting media reports, the petition said that the Lok Shakti and the Samata Party had decided to contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha and assembly elections under the JD (u) banner and on its poll symbol ''arrow''.
In the light of this, the JD (s) urged the commission to withdraw the facility of free air time on Doordarshan and AIR given to the Samata Party and the Lok Shakti as they would be appealing for votes in the name of JD (u), which had already been allotted separate free air time.
Giving free air time to all three parties separately would amount to discrimination against other parties, the JD (s) contended in the petition and appealed that time allotted to the Samata Party and the Lok Shakti be distributed equally between JD (u) and JD (s).
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