Parties’ voter slips flout poll code

Political parties in New Delhi are blatantly disregarding the MCC by distributing voter slip details on promotional materials during their door-to-door campaigns.
Promotional materials printed on voting slips distributed by AAP, BJP
Promotional materials printed on voting slips distributed by AAP, BJPPhoto | Express

NEW DELHI: In the high-stakes world of politics, desperate times often lead to desperate measures, even at the cost of violating the law.

Political parties in New Delhi are doing just that, blatantly disregarding the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by distributing voter slip details on promotional materials during their door-to-door campaigns.

Upon investigation, it was discovered that various voter slips handed out to residents contained sensitive information. These slips listed the voter’s name, age, gender, residential address, and the polling booth details where their votes are registered.

This violation isn’t limited to a single party.

Major political entities, including the BJP, AAP, and Congress, are blatantly engaging in this practice. Numerous residents reported that party workers approached them with voter slips embedded in campaign materials, urging them to vote.

When confronted with photographic evidence, officials at the Chief Electoral Office (CEO) acknowledged the breach of MCC rules and promised to take action. “We have taken note of it and shared it with the concerned returning officers for verification,” a senior officer at CEO, Delhi stated.

Ground-level officers are also aware of this infringement. “We have been advising people not to trust voter slips distributed by political parties and to rely only on the authorized slips provided by us during our door-to-door campaign,” said a Booth Level Officer (BLO) who requested anonymity.

The newspaper reached out to Delhi BJP President Virendra Sachdeva for comment. His staff noted the query, stating he was in a meeting and would respond later.

AAP spokesperson Priyanka Kakkar questioned the validity of the claim, asking why no notice had been sent to the party if it was indeed a violation. She later requested the query be sent to her via WhatsApp.

Election officers explained that voter slips are provided to political parties solely to help voters identify their polling booths. “The purpose of these slips is to inform voters about where they should vote. However, using them for campaign purposes is strictly prohibited,” a senior election officer emphasised.

The Election Commission (EC) handbook clearly outlines the proper use of voter slips. Political parties and candidates may issue unofficial identity slips containing only the voter’s name and serial number, part number of the electoral roll, and the polling station’s serial number and name.

These slips must be on plain white paper and should not include the candidate’s name, party name, election symbol, slogans, or any exhortation to vote for a particular party or candidate, as stated in guideline 7.17.2 of the handbook.

This blatant disregard of poll norms by parties not only undermines the integrity of the electoral process but also erodes public trust in the democratic system. It remains to be seen what actions will be taken to address these violations and uphold the sanctity of the election process.

Related Stories

No stories found.

The New Indian Express