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  • EC Directs Electronics & IT Ministry To Immediately Halt Delivery Of Viksit Bharat Messages On WhatsApp

    Published on March 21, 2024

    New Delhi: Election Commission has directed Electronics and IT Ministry to immediately halt delivery of Viksit Bharat messaging over WhatsApp. The Commission said, it has received several complaints that such messages are still being delivered on citizens’ phones despite the announcement of the General Elections. In response, the Ministry had informed the commission that although the letters were sent out before Model Code of Conduct came into force, some of them could have possibly been delivered to recipients with a delay because of systemic and network limitations.

    In fact, several people in India — and some abroad — have received messages since March 15 from “Viksit Bharat Sampark,” a series of verified WhatsApp Business accounts with different phone numbers, with a letter from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    The letter from Mr. Modi lists several government schemes, sought ideas and suggestions from the public, and thanked them for their “support” on issues like “GST, abrogation of Article 370, new law on Triple Talaq, Nari Shakti Vandan Act to enhance women’s participation in the Parliament, the inauguration of a new Parliament building and strong steps against terrorism and Left-Wing extremism”.

    Congress MP Manish Tewari accused the government of breaching the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), which prohibits the “misuse of official mass media during the election period for… publicity regarding achievements” to boost the chances of the party in power in polls. The MCC kicked in with the announcement of polling dates on Saturday.

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