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Election Commission directs govt to halt 'Viksit Bharat' messages delivery over WhatsApp ahead of LS polls

EC had received several complaints that such messages are still being delivered on citizens’ phones despite the announcement of the General Elections 2024 and the MCC entering into force.

Edited By: Sheenu Sharma @20sheenu New Delhi Updated on: March 21, 2024 14:01 IST
Election Commission, Election Commission on viksit bharat messages, viksit bharat, viksit bharat san
Image Source : PTI (FILE) Election Commission directs government to halt 'Viksit Bharat' messages delivery over WhatsApp.

The Election Commission of India has directed the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) today (March 21) to immediately halt the delivery of Viksit Bharat messaging over WhatsApp. A compliance report on the matter has been demanded immediately from MeitY.

The Commission had received several complaints that such messages are still being delivered on citizens’ phones despite the announcement of the General Elections 2024 and the MCC entering into force.

In response, MeitY had informed the commission that although the letters were sent out before MCC came into force, some of them could have possibly been delivered to recipients with a delay because of systemic and network limitations.

Viksit Bharat Sampark

EC directed the Centre to "immediately halt" sending bulk WhatsApp messages under the "Viksit Bharat Sampark" to highlight the government's initiatives. The Commission issued the direction to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology after it received complaints about the matter.

"The move is a part of a series of decisions taken by the Commission to ensure a level-playing field," the Commission said. It has also sought a compliance report on the matter from the ministry. The ministry had informed the Commission that the messages along with a letter from Prime Minister Narendra Modi were sent before the Model Code of Conduct came into force on March 16 (Saturday).

"Some of them could have possibly been delivered to recipients with a delay because of systemic and network limitations," the ministry said in a communication to the Commission.

The poll authority had received several complaints that such messages highlighting the government's initiatives were still being delivered on citizens' phones despite the announcement of the General Elections 2024 and the MCC coming into force. The Congress and the Trinamool Congress had raised objections to the message and requested the Election Commission to act against this blatant violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

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