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Election Commission launches app to help voters report poll code violations

The app was test on a pilot basis in Bengaluru. The service is now being extended Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram for the upcoming assembly polls.

india Updated: Jul 04, 2018 07:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Election Commission,EC App,cVIGIL
Election Commission of India launches mobile app “cVIGIL” to enable citizens to report on violation of election code of conduct.(PIB/Twitter)

The Election Commission on Tuesday launched an Android-based app, which allows voters to send geo-tagged videos and photos of any violations that take place during elections, including distribution of money or gifts by political parties or even hate speeches being made while canvassing.

The app known as ‘cVIGIL’, which stands for “citizens’ vigil”, was tested on a pilot basis during the recently concluded polls in Karnataka’s Bengaluru.

The election commission has now decided to extend the service during the upcoming assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram.

“We tested it on a pilot basis only in Bangalore and within days of its launch, the app was downloaded over 800 times. We received several complaints through the app, which helped us identify violations and take action,” said an election commission official, requesting anonymity.

The official said, former Prime Minister Deve Gowda had made several complaints to the commission about violations by political opponents . “By the time the EC team would reach the spot, it would be hard to catch the violators. So then we suggested using the app and sending us videos through his smart phone,” the official said.

He did not have the details of the number of complaints that were filed through the app; but said videos and photos sent through the app will allow the EC to file FIRs against the offenders.

“It is an attempt to empower the voters. And since the identity of the voter remains protected they don’t have to worry about their safety,” the official said.

Earlier, launching the app, chief election commissioner OP Rawat said the poll panel was bringing out this tool as there have been instances when vested interests have misled surveillance teams .

First Published: Jul 04, 2018 07:47 IST