Shocking revelation on India’s Election Commission’s link with BJP IT cell for Maharashtra polls; poll body seeks report

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In a shocking revelation, an activist has sensationally revealed the hidden relationship between India’s election commission with the BJP IT Cell ahead of the last year’s Maharashtra elections. Faced with widespread condemnation, the national poll body has now sought a detailed report on the stunning revelation.

BJP IT Cell

Activist Saket Gokhale took to Twitter to establish how the Maharashtra body of the Election Commission of India had hired the services of a known member of the BJP IT Cell for the assembly elections in the state. Saket wrote, “Shocking details: 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.”

In his next tweet, Saket shared the screenshots of a couple of social media posts promoted by the Chief Electoral Officer of Maharashtra during the state assembly polls. The activist wrote, “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 (Election Commission of India). In each of the ads, the address seemed to be the same: “202 Pressman House, Vile Parle, Mumbai.”



Saket said that his further investigation into the mentioned address took him to ;an advertising company called Signpost India, which was a govt-empaneled agency under Fadnavis BJP government.’ He wrote, “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)”



Devang Dave’s clients included several government-owned agencies, his own party, the BJP, and the Chief Electoral Officer of Maharashtra. According to Saket, Devang Dave is also the ‘founder of websites and pages like “The Fearless Indian”, “I Support Narendra Modi” etc.’ “His agency lists the BJP (naturally) as a client along with other govt. entities. The above pages are full of h@teful political content of BJP IT Cell,” the activist, who is a known Congress supporter, continued.

He added, “It is beyond SHOCKING that the Election Commission chose a BJP IT cell guy & his agency to handle their social media for Maharashtra elections. ECI is supposed to be monitoring social media of parties during election. Here, they *literally* worked with the ruling party.”

In his concluding post, Saket asked the Election Commission of India why it had decided to let a known member of the BJP IT Cell to handle the social media of the Chief Electoral Officer, Maharashtra. “Is this conduct of @ECISVEEP in line with “independence” and “neutrality”?
Is the BJP’s takeover of institutions is so open now? ECI MUST ANSWER!”

Faced with widespread condemnation, the ECI spokesperson, Sheyphali Saran, wrote, “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.”

While Dave has not reacted to the expose, he has been retweeting favourable posts by other social media users on the controversy.

The latest revelation will give more ammunition to those, who always felt that the Indian poll body was no longer an impartial institution.

 

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