ECI Asks Pol Parties to Stop Enrolling Voters for Post-Election Beneficiary Schemes

The Commission while noticing various instances in the ongoing General Elections 2024, has issued an advisory on Thursday to all national and state political parties to immediately cease any activities that involve registering individuals for post-election beneficiary-oriented schemes through any advertisements/survey/App.
ECI Asks Pol Parties to Stop Enrolling Voters for Post-Election Beneficiary Schemes
ECI Asks Pol Parties to Stop Enrolling Voters for Post-Election Beneficiary SchemesFile image

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has advised all political parties to stop registering voters for post-election beneficiary-oriented schemes under the guise of surveys.

This directive comes after the ECI took a serious view of activities by political parties and candidates seeking details of voters under the guise of various surveys for their proposed beneficiary schemes, as a corrupt practice of bribery under Section 123(1) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

The ECI noted that, "some political parties and candidates have been engaging in activities that blur the lines between legitimate surveys and partisan efforts to register individuals for post-election beneficiary-oriented schemes".

The Commission while noticing various instances in the ongoing General Elections 2024, has issued an advisory on Thursday to all national and state political parties to immediately cease any activities that involve registering individuals for post-election beneficiary-oriented schemes through any advertisements/survey/App.

The Commission said the act of inviting/calling upon individual electors to register for post-election benefits may create an impression of the requirement of one-to-one transactional relationship between the elector and the proposed benefit and has the potential to generate quid-pro-quo arrangement for voting in a particular way thereby leading to inducement.

The Commission while acknowledging that generic and general electoral promises are in the realm of permissibility, noted that such activities as mentioned in table below obscure the distinction between authentic surveys and biased attempts to enrol people in programs for political gain, all while masquerading as legitimate survey activities or efforts to inform about government programs or party agendas related to potential individual benefits.

The Commission has directed all District Election Officers to take appropriate actions against any such advertisements within the statutory provisions namely Section 127A of the Representation of People's Act, 1951, 123 (1) of the Representation of People's Act, 1951, and Section 171 (B) IPC.

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