Fact Check: Election Commission Dismisses Fake Election Schedule Circulating on WhatsApp

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Fact Check: Election Commission Dismisses Fake Election Schedule Circulating on WhatsApp

| Updated: February 25, 2024 12:46

The Election Commission has issued a clarification regarding the circulation of a fake election schedule on WhatsApp. The fraudulent message claimed that the Lok Sabha election was slated for April 19, causing widespread confusion among the public.

The counterfeit message detailed a full schedule for the general election, stating that the polls would be notified on March 12, thereby enforcing the model code of conduct. It further claimed that the deadline for filing nominations was March 28, with polling day on April 19 and results to be announced on May 22.

The message, which included a letterhead of the poll body, began circulating on various WhatsApp groups, leading many to question the feasibility of conducting the general election in a single phase.

In response to the growing confusion, the Election Commission took to social media to debunk the false information. “A fake message is being shared on WhatsApp regarding the schedule for #LokSabhaElections2024. #FactCheck: The message is #Fake. No dates have been announced so far by #ECI,” the Commission stated in a post.

The Election Commission further clarified that the official election schedule is always announced through a press conference, not via text or WhatsApp messages. The Commission also urged the public to verify facts before forwarding messages, using the hashtag “#VerifyBeforeYouAmplify”.

This incident follows a similar situation last month when an internal note from the office of Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer caused confusion by mentioning April 16 as a tentative “poll date”. The Chief Electoral Officer’s office later clarified that the date was mentioned only as a “reference” for officials to plan activities according to the Election Planner of ECI.

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