EC asks govt to stop sending 'Viksit Bharat' messages on WhatsApp

The move is a part of a series of decisions taken by the commission to ensure a level-playing field, says poll panel

Election Commission of India (Photo: National Herald archives)
Election Commission of India (Photo: National Herald archives)


The Election Commission on Thursday, 21 March, 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 16 March.

".... 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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