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Bihar Assembly Polls: CPI(M) Flags Concerns Over Funding, Social Media and EVMs to EC

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The CPI(M) on Friday raised issues over funding and use of social media and digital voting machines within the upcoming meeting polls in Bihar. In a letter to the Election Commission, the get together mentioned that it had earlier raised these points however didn’t get a response from the ballot physique.

The Commission had on September 25 issued an in depth notice of knowledge and instructions on the conduct of the Bihar polls. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) mentioned as well as to the pending questions have been three points which wanted to be flagged forward of the state polls.

The first subject raised by the get together was on the query of funding, notably within the mild of the electoral bond scheme. The letter quoted the Election Commission’s (EC) affidavit within the Supreme Court the place the ballot physique had said that electoral bonds would sign severe repercussions on the transparency facet of political funding of political events.

Since the matter is now pending with the Supreme Court, the query is, how the Election Commission will discharge the mandate of Article 324 in guaranteeing a free and honest ballot in Bihar and a stage enjoying area. The pointers issued on September 25 don’t throw any mild on this very important query, the letter mentioned. The second subject raised by the Left get together was regarding an efficient mechanism to guarantee a stage enjoying area on mass media and social media.

The expertise in latest occasions clearly reveals that BJP, armed with its huge cash energy, enjoys a disproportionate benefit over all different political events, it mentioned. The letter mentioned the BJP has kicked off a digital election marketing campaign by placing up 72,000 LED TV displays for Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s speech forward of the Bihar meeting polls.

After holding 60 digital rallies, the BJP has claimed that its election marketing campaign efforts would contain 9,500 IT Cell heads who will coordinate 72,000 Whatsapp teams, one for every polling sales space, of which 50,000 have been fashioned within the final two months. The quantity of expenditure that will be concerned to put collectively such manpower for a know-how pushed system is solely thoughts boggling, it mentioned, including that the nameless company funds with none higher ceiling will definitely be the demise knell for electoral democracy.

The Left mentioned the usage of social media by political events had assumed new significance within the mild of the publicity on BJP’s involvement within the unfold of misogyny and hate on social media. The report in The Wall Street Journal has opened the floodgate of extra factual particulars about how Facebook and Twitter have been complicit in turning a blind eye to BJP’s divisive marketing campaign on the energy of its substantial funding via commercial within the social media platform together with its associates. This is as well as to its use of Whatsapp messages to construct a story based mostly on pretend information, the get together alleged within the letter to the Election Commission.

Also elevating issues over the functioning of digital voting machines (EVMs), the CPI(M) mentioned, opposite to Supreme Court route, the safeguard regime for eliminating the potential of a foul play, the VVPAT has been used not for guaranteeing transparency however to introduce a brand new factor of uncertainty. We hope that these three issues shall be addressed by the Election Commission of India and applicable official instructions issued. Such applicable route should be accessible to all of the political events that are within the election course of within the upcoming elections to the Bihar Assembly, the get together added.

The voting for Bihar meeting elections shall be held in three phases — first on October 28, second on November 3 and the third on November 7 — whereas counting of all votes will happen on November 10.

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