The Election Commission of India (ECI) has launched 'Know Your Candidate', a mobile application for the electors to browse the particulars and criminal antecedents of candidates contesting elections.
The app is suggested for downloading by voters to stay better informed about the candidates and their backgrounds before making a choice. S Karuna Raju, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Punjab, said that the app had been developed to provide wide publicity and more significant awareness regarding criminal antecedents of the candidates, as reported by The Indian Express. The aim is to ensure transparent elections.
Voters can download the app from the Google play store and Apple store and also find the link for it on ECI's website. Raju has directed the Returning Officers (RO) to ensure appropriate uploads on the app with "yes" or "no" options for Candidate Criminal Antecedent. These documents will be visible to the public through the 'Know Your Candidate' app. The officers have to ensure, and double verify the uploads according to the details submitted by the candidate.
Need To Know Candidates
The Supreme Court had earlier mandated all political parties to publish all pending criminal cases against their chosen candidates on party websites and social media handles. The Supreme Court had stated an increase in the number of people with criminal backgrounds entering into Parliament and Legislative Assemblies of states through elections. Hence, they had asked for an explanation of the parties' choice to give them tickets, as reported by India Today. The motive is to bring forth the candidates' profiles to the voters to make informed decisions, thus ensuring transparent elections.
ECI was ensured with parties following these compulsory instructions, or ECI will bring the contempt of court orders to SC's notice.
'Suvidha App' is an application launched by ECI. It is a single-window system for both candidates and political parties to apply for permission to conduct meetings, rallies and other events.
'cVIGIL' is another app that provides time-stamped, evidence-based proof of the Model Code of Conduct/ Expenditure Violation, having live photos and video with auto location data. Complaints can be registered through the app, following which the matter would be investigated with the RO deciding within 100 minutes.
The 'Voter Helpline' app has been launched to extend convenience to the citizens. On the app, they can look for their names in the electoral rolls, submit online forms, check the status of their application, file complaints and receive a reply on their apps. Moreover, they can know the contact details of Booth Level Officers, Electoral Registration Officers and District Election Officers through this application.
ECI has also launched an application for persons with disabilities called the 'PwD' app. Through this application, persons with disabilities can apply for new registration, change in address and other particulars and mark themselves as PwD. Moreover, the Booth Level Officer would be assigned to them for a doorstep facility by entering the details. PwDs can also request a wheelchair during polling.
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