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Election Commission asks Centre to stop sending 'Viksit Bharat' messages
Image Credit: UNI

Election Commission asks Centre to stop sending 'Viksit Bharat' messages

| @indiablooms | 21 Mar 2024, 04:21 pm

New Delhi: In a strong measure to implement adherence to the model code of conduct, the Election Commission has ordered the Union government to stop the dissemination of 'Viksit Bharat' messages via WhatsApp immediately, media reports said.

The electoral body directed the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to immediately furnish a compliance report.

This direction follows numerous complaints received by the Election Commission regarding the violation of the model code by MeitY through the transmission of these messages.

The Election Commission announced the dates for the Lok Sabha elections, scheduled to occur in seven phases from April 19 to June 1, on March 16. Following this announcement, the model code of conduct was enforced immediately.

In its communication, the ministry highlighted government policies and schemes, inviting feedback and suggestions from recipients. Sent from an account with a green tick, the handle identifies itself as "Viksit Bharat Sampark," an ongoing governmental initiative meant to evaluate flagship schemes and enhance their implementation and delivery. It also provides MeitY's address and includes a link to its website.

The ministry responded to the panel's concerns by stating that the messages, including a letter from the Prime Minister, were dispatched on March 15, preceding the enforcement of the model code of conduct (MCC).

It explained that certain messages might have experienced delays in delivery due to inherent limitations within the system architecture and network infrastructure.

The Election Commission's recent action follows its directives to the chief electoral officer of Karnataka to address Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje's alleged derogatory remarks against the people from Tamil Nadu after a complaint from the DMK.

Furthermore, the panel instructed the cabinet secretary, chief secretaries of all states, and chief electoral officers to remove unauthorized political advertisements.

These measures are interpreted in light of Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar's statement during the announcement of election dates, underscoring the poll panel's commitment to combatting the four 'Ms' - muscle, money, misinformation, and violations of the model code of conduct - which could impede the conduct of free and fair elections.

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