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Election Commission Warns Against Voter Details Collection by Political Parties for Post-Election Schemes

New Delhi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued a stern advisory to all national and state political parties, cautioning against the collection of voter details under the pretext of surveys for post-election beneficiary schemes. The Commission deemed such activities as corrupt practices of bribery under Section 123(1) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

In a notice released today, the ECI highlighted instances where political parties and candidates have blurred the lines between legitimate surveys and partisan efforts to enlist individuals for post-election beneficiary schemes. The advisory urged immediate cessation of any activities involving voter registration for such schemes through advertisements, surveys, or mobile applications.

The Commission expressed concern that soliciting individual electors to register for post-election benefits could create an impression of a transactional relationship between the elector and the proposed benefit, potentially leading to inducement for voting in a particular way.

While generic electoral promises are permissible, the ECI emphasized the need to distinguish between authentic surveys and biased attempts to enroll people for political gain. The Commission directed all District Election Officers to take appropriate actions against such advertisements within the statutory provisions of relevant laws.

Examples of Prohibited Activities:

Newspaper advertisements urging individual voters to register for benefits via missed calls or telephone numbers.

Distribution of guarantee cards detailing prospective individual benefits along with voter detail forms.

Distribution of forms seeking voter details under the guise of socio-economic surveys for expanding government benefit schemes.

Circulation of web platforms or mobile applications by political parties seeking voter details without disclosure of voting preference.

Newspaper advertisements or physical forms regarding existing individual benefit schemes accompanied by registration forms seeking voter details.

The ECI’s advisory serves as a reminder of the need for transparency and integrity in electoral processes, urging political parties to uphold ethical standards in their campaign activities.


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