Lok Sabha Elections 2024: ECI orders immediate halt of 'Viksit Bharat' WhatsApp messages

The Election Commission has ordered the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party to take down messages being send as promotion under the guise of Viksit Bharat campaign.

Follow us:
Courtesy: Viksit Bharat Sampark

New Delhi: In a significant move, the Election Commission has instructed the Centre to cease the dissemination of bulk WhatsApp messages through the "Viksit Bharat Sampark" initiative, aimed at showcasing government endeavors.

The Election Commission has ordered the Narendra Modi-led Bhartiya Janata Party to take down messages being send as promotion under the guise of Viksit Bharat campaign. 

Alleged violation: 'Viksit Bharat Sampark' WhatsApp messages

The controversy arises from the widespread dissemination of bulk messages on WhatsApp under the guise of 'Viksit Bharat Sampark', accompanied by a letter purportedly from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The letter, primarily highlighting the government's achievements over the last decade, requested feedback from the recipients.

Complaints and investigation

Following a complaint lodged via the ECI's C-Vigil App by a resident of Chandigarh, alleging the misuse of official government channels during the election period, an investigation was initiated. Vinay Pratap Singh, Chandigarh's returning officer, affirmed that the District Media Certification & Monitoring Committee identified the issue as a prima facie violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

Violation referred to Election Commission of India

Given the nationwide ramifications of the matter, Chandigarh authorities forwarded it to the Election Commission of India (ECI) for appropriate action. The involvement of the Government of India and Meta (formerly Facebook), along with the international reach of the messages, necessitated scrutiny at the national level.

(This story is developing. More information will be provided as it unfolds.)