Digital India: Candidates in Himachal Leave Space for Email Id, Social Media Blank in Nomination Forms
In 68-member HP Assembly, 17 Congress candidates and 10 BJP contestants have not provided their email ID. When News18 called some of these candidates, they refused to answer the question.
Logos of BJP and Congress party. (File Photo)
New Delhi: At a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Digital India drive aims to connect every Indian with Internet, a large number of contestants in Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls have left the column space meant for email ID and social media in the nomination form blank.
In 68-member HP Assembly, 17 Congress candidates and 10 BJP contestants have not provided their email ID.
It couldn't be ascertained if all these budding lawmakers don't have an email address or they simply didn't find it important to write it in the nomination form, which is made public by the Election Commission.
When News18 called some of these candidates, they refused to answer the question. A few of them, however, seems to have done it out of ignorance.
Randhir Sharma, BJP's candidate from Sri Naina Devi, said "We gave them whatever information the election officer asked us to give. We didn't know if there was a column for email ID or social media."
Similarly, Mohan Lal Brakta, Congress candidate from Rohru said, "It was left blank by mistake. Next time, I will write it."
It's interesting how both parties are fighting bitter battle on social media, but candidates on the ground haven't even mentioned details of their Twitter handle or Facebook page in the nomination form.
As many as 38 Congress candidates have not shared details of their social media presence. Similarly, 26 BJP candidates gave it a miss.
The Supreme Court in 2013 had ruled that a candidate must explicitly mention 'Nil' or 'Not applicable' or 'Not known' in the nomination form, and should not leave any column blank.
The affidavit filed with the returning officer by a candidate has specific columns for email ID and social media account.
According to government data, India had 342.65 million internet subscribers at the end of March, 2016. Among states, Himachal Pradesh had the lowest number of subscribers at 3.02 million.
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