ECI has instructed MeitY to halt the WhatsApp Messaging of Viksit Bharat Model


New Delhi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued a directive to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in light of the upcoming 18th general elections, which are scheduled between April and June. The directive concerns the dissemination of messages related to the Viksit Bharat Model on WhatsApp.

ECI’s Concerns:
The ECI has been alerted to the fact that citizens are still receiving messages about the Viksit Bharat Model on their phones, despite the enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). The MCC is a set of guidelines that govern the conduct of political parties and candidates in the run-up to elections.

Directive Issued:
In response to these concerns, the ECI has instructed MeitY to halt the delivery of such messages with immediate effect. The Commission has also requested a compliance report to confirm that no further messages are sent during the MCC period.

Incident Report:
Between March 17 and 18, numerous users reported receiving messages from a number associated with MeitY. These messages contained a letter from the Government of India, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, requesting “ideas, suggestions, and support” for building a Viksit Bharat.

Public Reaction:
Recipients of the message, including those residing outside India, expressed concerns regarding the direct receipt of the letter on their WhatsApp numbers, especially since they had not shared their contact information through any government initiative.

ECI’s Inquiry:
The ECI sought clarification from MeitY on how these messages were distributed during the MCC period. MeitY explained that while the messages were dispatched before the commencement of the MCC, some may have been delivered post-March 15 due to technical constraints related to system architecture and network limitations.


Current Status:
The ECI awaits a detailed compliance report from MeitY, ensuring adherence to the MCC and preventing any further distribution of the WhatsApp messages in question.