Politicians are making maximum use of social media and online platforms to contact the masses, especially the voters, but majority of them shy away when it comes to disclosing those accounts to the Election Commission.
A Facebook page depicting BJP candidate CR Chaudhary and Sumedhanand Saraswati. (HT Photo)
Though the Election Commission has made it mandatory to disclose email IDs and social media accounts in the affidavits submitted at the time of nomination, a majority of candidates in the state including senior leaders have not disclosed the information.
The commission has no provision of taking action against non-disclosure of such information as it is sought only to track online canvassing. All the candidates who have withheld information are regularly posting pictures of canvassing on the accounts and pages.
Taking lead in hiding information about social media accounts are Congress candidate from Jaipur Mahesh Joshi who has an account and some pages on Facebook and Union minister Bhanwar Jitendra Singh who has an account and a page on FB.
BJP candidate from Churu constituency Rahul Kaswan who has two pages and several groups on Facebook has not disclosed anything in the affidavit. His opponent Congress candidate Pratap Singh Poonia also has an account and a page on FB but denied it in the affidavit. But Krishan Kumar Saran of Aam Aadmi Party from Churu has declared his FB account.
BJP’s Sikar candidate Sumedhanand Saraswati has an account and some groups on FB but has denied having any social media account. Others who have not disclosed information include Congress candidate from Sikar PS Jat, Kirodi Lal Meena of National People’s Party, Pramod Jain Bhaya of Congress from Jhalawar and Union culture minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch who have pages on FB. Former DGP and BJP candidate from Dausa, Harish Chandra Meena has taken a lead over his elder brother and Union minister Namo Narayan Meena. Harish has an account and two pages on FB while Namo Narayan does not have an email ID and has no social media presence.
“There is a column for disclosing social account info but it is not mandatory so far. The accounts, if disclosed, can be monitored by the department,” said CEO Ashok Kumar Jain.