EC to monitor spending by political parties on social media

EC to monitor spending by political parties on social media

The Election Commission will for the first time keep a watch on the spending on social media by the political parties in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Assistant Chief Electoral Officer in West Bengal Amitjyoti Bhattacharya today said that the EC would keep a close vigil on social media like Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and that spending on these platforms by political parties would be strictly monitored.

"Spending in social media will be strictly monitored by the poll panel," Bhattacharya said while addressing a media workshop without elaborating.

The workshop was attended by Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta, Joint CEO Amit Roy Chowdhury apart from Bhattacharya.

Announcing steps to prevent malpractices in the coming election, the officials said that steps had been strengthened against paid news and violation of the Model Code of Conduct as the Lok Sabha election draws near.

They said that a nationwide drive had been undertaken to make various stakeholders aware of the steps and guidelines.

"For the first time such a nationwide drive has been undertaken by the EC to prevent electoral malpractices, educate media in particular and help its directives percolate to the grass root level to ensure free and fair poll," said Gupta.

Joint CEO Amit Roy Chowdhury, who is also in-charge of expenditure, said the EC would also set up state and district level Media Certification and Monitoring Committees at the state and district levels to keep a tab on expenses incurred by political parties and check instances of paid news in the print and electronic media.

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