Journalist claims Maha poll panel used BJP IT cell to issue ads during assembly polls

The Election Commission is responsible to ensure that elections can take place in an orderly and fair manner.However, The Election Commission has been accused of sharing BJP’s social media team to issue election-related ads ahead of the 2019 assembly polls. The state was under the BJP at the time.

The Election Commission has called for a detailed report from the Chief Electoral Officer of the Maharashtra. In a tweet, ECI Spokesperson Sheyphali Sharan said details have been sought from the Maharashtra Chief Election Officer (CEO) regarding these allegations.

“Regarding tweet of Mr Gokhale @SaketGokhale, Commission has sought detailed factual report in this matter from CEO Maharashtra with respect to alleged locale of the incidence immediately,” she said.

Saket Gokhale, an RTI activist, who has levelled these allegations at the poll panel. In a series of tweet wrote ,”Election Commission of India literally hired the BJP IT Cell for handling their social media in Maharashtra in the run-up to the 2019 State Assembly Elections.”

“Browsing through the old social media adverts of the Chief Electoral Officer, Maharashtra, something very strange stood out. The Chief Electoral Officer reports to the ECI.In each of the ads, the address seemed to be the same: “202 Pressman House, Vile Parle, Mumbai”

“I decided to check who the address belongs to. It’s that of an advertising company called Signpost India which was a govt-empaneled agency under Fadnavis BJP govt. But wait – that’s not half the story”

“The address 202 Pressman House was also used by a digital agency called “Social Central”.This agency is owned by Devang Dave who is the national convener of IT & social media for BJP’s Youth Wing @BJYM. Guess who shows up on his client list on his website? (see images).”

The Election Commission of India (ECI) today said it has sought a report from the Maharashtra Chief Election Officer regarding allegations that the poll body hired a firm reportedly linked to the BJP IT cell for its social media promotions in the run-up to the assembly elections held last year.