'Cant do anything about paid news'

While admitting to suspected paid news reports repeatedly appearing in local English and vernacular dailies promoting potential candidates, Chief Electoral Officer Gonesh Koyu told reporters: "There is nothing we can do about it until the model code of conduct is in force."

The model code of conduct, under which candidates and political parties are expected to follow certain rules and guidelines, comes into force once elections are announced. Under the code, the state governments cannnot make any policy announcement once an election is announced.

Even as elections to the Goa legislative assembly are scheduled for early next year, the local print media is rife with laudatory profiles and interviews of potential candidates.

Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi, during a visit to Goa in August, had said that specific measures were being put in place to tackle the paid news phenomenon.

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