J&K election department has got nearly 100 complaints of MCC violation: Officials
JAMMU, Apr 2: The Jammu and Kashmir election department has received nearly a 100 complaints through the cVIGIL app on violation of the model code of conduct in the state, a senior poll officer said Tuesday.
The Election Commission had launched the application last month and through it, a person can send to the poll panel geo-tagged videos and photos of illegal money being distributed or a hate speech being made during polls, among other violations of the code.
Of the total complaints, 59 have been disposed of and the rest are being investigated, State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shalinder Kumar said, adding that over 20 employees were also suspended for violating the poll code.
For free and fair parliamentary elections in the state, the department has set up 1,500 mobile and static teams, and flying squads with video cameras to ensure the model code of conduct (MCC) in not being violated.
Kumar said the application — Vigilant Citizen or cVIGIL — has empowered citizens to report violations of the code.
“It (the app) has been made operational for the first time in Jammu and Kashmir in these (Lok Sabha) elections”, the CEO said, adding that the app can be downloaded from the Google app store.
Political parties and other stake holders, including employees, have been asked to ensure that there is no violation of the code.
“We will not overlook a single complaint whether it is against a big leader or a junior leader, no one will be ignored, neither the complainant nor the person against whom there is a complaint”, Kumar said.
The CEO said citizens can register a complaint on the app for a number of violations, including on candidates distributing money or liquor to influence voters.
They can also alert the Election Commission if they find a candidate involved in promoting paid news, he said, adding that candidates using vehicles or convoys without permission are also in violation of the MCC.
Transporting voters on the day of polling or political campaigning within 200 metres of the polling booth are strictly prohibited under the guidelines, Kumar said. Giving details, Kumar referred to a complaint that was received by the department in an e-mail. In this complaint, a message of one political party’s representative has come (in the public domain).
“One of the party’s leader has appealed to motorcycle owners to reach at a particular place where their vehicle will be provide with petrol and they will given T-Shirts for free. We have started investigating it,” he said.
Three complaints concerning the distribution of money were found correct out of eight complaints in this direction, according to a report. Similarly, two cases out of eight cases were found correct in connection with distribution of liquor.
Other complaints included posting of posters without permission and taking out of rallies without permission, it said.