Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Sunday announced that the model code of conduct, which came into effect from March 10, will be applied to social media posts as well.
CEC Sunil Arora stated that candidates contesting the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 will be required to furnish details of their social media accounts and the expenditure for campaigning on social media will be taken into account as well.
“Candidates are required to furnish details of social media accounts. All political ads on social media will also require pre-certification. All expenditure on social campaigning to be part of election expenditure account. All provisions of the model code of conduct shall also apply to the content being posted on social media by candidates and political parties,” CEC Sunil Arora announced.
Lok Sabha Elections 2019 will be held in 7 phases from April 11 to May 19, 2019. The counting of votes will take place on May 23. The term of the 16th Lok Sabha ends on June 3.
Calling the Indian parliamentary battle the "largest festival of democracy,” he said that 91 constituencies (spread across 20 states) will see polling on April 11, 97 constituencies (13 states) on April 18, 115 (14) on April 23, 71 (9) on April 29, 51 (7) on May 6, 59 (also 7) on May 12 and 59 constituencies (8 states) on May 19.
The staggered election will see about 900 million voters, up from 814.5 million in 2014, when Narendra Modi led the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to power ending a decade of Congress-headed UPA rule.
Of this, some 15 million will be first-time voters in the age group of 18 to 19 years.
Approximately 10 lakh polling stations, one lakh more than in 2014, will be set up and a total of 17.4 lakh VVPATs will be used with electronic voting machines (EVMs) in all polling stations, Arora told a crowded press conference.