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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Election Commission tells Centre to stop sending Viksit Bharat messages on WhatsApp

The action has been taken after several complaints were lodged with the poll panel.

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As the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is currently in effect following the announcement of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has instructed the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to immediately halt delivering Viksit Bharat messages on WhatsApp.

The poll body has also asked the Ministry to provide a compliance report on the subject, it added.

The Commission claimed it had received multiple complaints alleging that even after the election results were announced and the MCC went into effect, messages intended to promote the Central government’s activities under the Viksit Bharat Sampark were still being delivered to citizens’ phones.

In response, the MeitY notified the poll body that while the messages were sent before the MCC being into effect, systemic and network constraints might have caused some of them to be delivered to recipients later than expected.

In addition to outlining the government’s various policies and schemes, the ministry’s message requested feedbacks and recommendations from the receivers. The sender account, denoted by a green tickmark, states that the mails were sent from: Viksit Bharat Sampark is an ongoing initiative of the Government of India for evaluation of the flagship schemes and improvement in its implementation and delivery. It also included a link to MeitY’s website and the company’s address.

The action is a part of the ECI’s set of actions to guarantee fair competition in the next national elections, according to the Commission.

The Elecetion Commission annouced the date of elections on March 16. Accourding to the announcement the elections will take place in seven phases from April 19 to June 1, with results expected to be announced on June 4.

Following the poll body’s announcement of the Lok Sabha election schedule, the MCC went into effect.

2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Mallikarjun Kharge accuses PM Modi of inciting people and dividing society through his election speeches

Kharge said no prime minister before Modi has ever indulged in inciting people like he has been doing. He said the prime minister speaks about democracy repeatedly but does not adhere to the tenets of democracy.

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Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for inciting people and dividing society through his election speeches. Kharge was addressing a press conference of the INDIA bloc, where Shiv Sena (UBT) president, Uddhav Thackeray NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar and other leaders were present.

Kharge said no prime minister before Modi has ever indulged in inciting people like he has been doing. He said the prime minister speaks about democracy repeatedly but does not adhere to the tenets of democracy. Responding to PM Modi’s statement that the Congress will bulldoze the Ram mandir in Ayodhya and also restore Article 370 if the INDIA bloc is voted to power Kharge said, they have never used a bulldozer on anyone. The Congress president said PM Modi has the habit of lying and inciting people about things which Congress will never do or the things that are impossible to be implemented.

Kharge further added that he is not answerable to Modi and the Congress will implement what they have promised in their election manifesto. He accused PM Modi of creating divisions wherever he went he tries to create division, speaks of dividing society. Kharge further added that PM Modi had described the Congress manifesto as Muslim League manifesto, but now he is calling it as a Maoist manifesto.

The Congress President assured that reservation has been enshrined in the Constitution which will continue and nobody can touch it. Speaking at the press conference Thackeray said, Achche din are coming from June 4 (when Lok Sabha election results will be declared) when INDIA bloc-led government will come to power at the centre. Thackeray pointed out PM Modi calls Shiv Sena (UBT) as the nakli (fake) Shiv Sena, and there is a possibility that tomorrow he may call RSS as nakli Sangh.  

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Rahul Gandhi says Congress will give 10kg free ration if elected to power

He also recalled that during the UPA government, the Congress has given legal status to the right to food through the Food Security Act.

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Ahead of the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha election, Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that the Congress will provide 10 Kg free ration to the poor families if elected to power. He added that 10 Kg ration along with Rs 8500 per month will promote education and self-employment among millions in the country.

Taking to social media platform X, formerly Twitter, Rahul Gandhi said that Congress has taken another big decision for the poor families of the country. He promised that his party will give 10 Kg free ration, instead of 5Kg. He also recalled that during the UPA government, the Congress has given legal status to the right to food through the Food Security Act. and that 10 Kg free ration will be the next step in the direction.

Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of running a government of Adani, and making 20-25 billionaires, the senior Congress leader said that Congress will make crores of millionaires and run the government of Indians. Earlier, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge also promised to provide 10Kg free ration if voted to power.

Meanwhile, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Thursday slammed BJP’s 5Kg ration policy at an election rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Raebareli, where Rahul Gandhi is contesting. She said that 5Kg ration will not make one self-reliant, but employment will. She explained the electorates need to understand that political parties whose ideologies make people dependent is not right. She concluded that voters will choose employment over 5Kg ration that BJP promises.

Along with 10Kg free ration, Congress has also promised to start recuitment process for 30 lakh government post by August 15. The Party also vowed to provide the youth their first job of Rs 1 lakh per year. It also guranteed better working conditions, pensions and social security for the work force of the gig economy.

Furthermore, the Congress also promised start-up funds for young entrepreneurs at district levels from the national funds of Rs 5000 crore. The party also pledged to give National minimum wage of Rs400 per day, including all MGNREGS workers, and stop contractualisation of employment in core government functions.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

BJP to contest all 13 Punjab Lok Sabha seats for first time since 1996, says state BJP chief Sunil Jakhar

Jakhar said that the Lok Sabha election was the most appropriate time for the BJP to contest independently, as the state is looking for an option

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Punjab BJP state President Sunil Jakhar recently said that his party will contest all 13 Lok Sabha sears in the state independently. The BJP has not allied with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) since 1996.

Sunil Jakhar in an interview with a news publication, said that this decision signifies a new chapter in the party’s strategy in Punjab. The BJP had allied with the SAD in Punjab for over two decades, and is considered to be a major coalition in the state’s political landscape.

The BJP state chief noted that the decision to contest independently was taken on the account of the feedback from the public and party members, reflecting a growing sentiment within the BJP to establish a stronger, independent presence in Punjab.

Jakhar continued that the Lok Sabha election was the most appropriate time for the BJP to contest independently, as the state is looking for an option. He asserted that Punjab tried out-of-the-box experiment in form of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), but are dissappointed with them.

He further highlighted the BJP’s work under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, particularly in securing minimum support prices for farmers, as key accomplishments that the party will present to the electorate. This development follows as the BJP aims to consolidate its position and expand its influence in Punjab.

Notably, the SAD was one of the oldest allies of the BJP. Nonetheless, the SAD severed ties with the NDA in September 2020 over the now repealed farm laws that saw widespread protests in northern India.

Speaking about coalition with SAD, the BJP state chief said that the alliance was not political but a social one. He added that the party is facing a battle of survival, and that its leader Sukhbir Singh Badal has sins to wash of, including the drug problem and sacrilege cases.

Election in Punjab’s 13 Lok Sabha seats is scheduled for June 1, 2024. This development is expected to significantly alter the dynamics of the electoral battle in Punjab, traditionally dominated by the SAD-BJP coalition and the Congress party.

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