Taking on the Election Commission for bringing social media within the ambit of the model code, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice Shantaram Naik of the Congress has questioned its jurisdiction to issue such guidelines after the announcement of poll schedule in five States. Issuing of such elaborate instructions does not fall within the EC jurisdiction. Therefore, “to bring transparency in the working of the Commission, as they expect similar transparency from political parties and their candidates, it is absolutely essential that the Commission should quote the law at every stage,” Mr. Naik said in a statement.

The MP, who spoke to Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutsi, expressed his reservations about the EC order, issued long after the election dates were announced.

On Friday, the EC issued guidelines on monitoring political campaigning on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, making it mandatory for all candidates to declare their official accounts with different social media websites and seeking its permission before advertising on such platforms. The EC also asked candidates to declare the expenditure incurred on running social media campaigns.

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