The Chief Electoral Officer of Tripura on Thursday issued notices to the state units of the Congress and the BJP as well as BJP national general secretary Dilip Saikia for seeking votes on Twitter when polling is underway in the northeastern state.
The Election Commission said the tweets are violative of election law as they were made in the 48 hour "silence period" which began on Tuesday evening. Voting for the 60-member Assembly in the state began at 7 am on Thursday.
They have been given an an opportunity "to take corrective action at the earliest". They have also been asked to explain their stands for the violation by 5 pm on Friday.
In its notice to Saikia, the Tripura CEO said, " ... an appeal for vote in favour of BJP has been tweeted from your handle at 0950 hours on 16.02.2023. The tweet is in form of a photo containing following message: Unnato Tripura Sreshtho Tripura Vote for BJP."
It said the tweet violates section 126 (l)(b) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which prohibits display to the public any election matter by means of cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus in polling area during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for the conclusion of the poll for any election in that polling area.
An identical notice to the Tripura BJP said an appeal for vote in favour of BJP was tweeted from BJP handle at 8 am on Thursday. "The tweet followed by a video clip is as under: For a safe and brighter future, vote for BJP", it said.
The notice to the Tripura Congress noted that an appeal for votes in favour of INC (Indian National Congress) was tweeted from Tripura Congress' handle at 11.42 am on Thursday. "The tweet is as under: People of Tripura spontaneously casting vote for Congress. This time Congress will come," the notice said.