The Election Commission has responded to concerns flagged by former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan on hiring of a firm engaged in SVEEP voter awareness campaign which was alleged to have links with BJP during 2019 Maharashtra Assembly polls.
The EC in its reply on Thursday stated the factual position about the firm, Signpost. It said: "The company was selected by Director General of Information and Public Relations (DGIPR), a state government body, on the basis of its tender offer and their presentation quality."
The EC said that there were no specific complaints during elections and question of independent check of empanelled agency by DGIPR did not arise.
EC said unless specific complaint is received no action could be taken and engagement of "Signpost" by the Office of CEO was solely for purposes of voters' awareness campaign.
The Commission ruled out any sharing of data. EC said it has laid down stringent protocol for ensuring privacy of electors' data.
Former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had written a letter to the Commission on July 24 regarding the issue.
Senior Congress leader and ex-Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had said."This is shocking and a blow to democracy.@"The company which was hired by the SEC CEO belongs to a BJYM activist who is the national convener of the IT Cell of the Bharatiya Janata Party. It was expected that the SEC should work as an impartial body, but this revelation has hit the very foundation of our democracy," he said.
Aaharashtra Congress on Friday had demanded a thorough probe into allegations that the State Election Commission (SEC) had hired a Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) party activist's social media company to manage the Chief Electoral Officer's Facebook page during the October 2019 Assembly election.