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ECI Instructs Political Parties To Not Involve Children In Election Campaign

by Web Desk
EC Instructs Political Parties To Not Involve Children In Election Campaign

Ahead of the crucial 2024 Lok Sabha elections that are just months away, the Election Commission of India (ECI) today instructed political parties and candidates to refrain from involving children in any manner in any political campaign. Stressing its zero-tolerance stance on the involvement of children (including their images) in any election-related activities, the ECI in an advisory sent to parties, conveyed that they should not involve children in any manner. For instance, there cannot be any images of candidates “holding a child in their arms, carrying a child in a vehicle or in a rally” and suchlike visuals.

“This prohibition extends to the use of children to create the semblance of a political campaign in any manner including use through poem, songs, spoken words, display of insignia of political party or candidate…,” said the Election Commission of India in a statement.

“However, the mere presence of a child accompanied by their parent or guardian in proximity of a political leader and who is not involved in any election campaigning activity by the political party, will not be construed as a violation of the guidelines,” it added.

Strict Adherence To Child Labour Act, 1986, As Amended In 2016

The poll body reminded all political parties of their obligation to adhere to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, as amended in 2016.

It also reiterated the importance of upholding the judiciary’s directives citing a 2014 order by the Bombay High Court which had stressed the need to ensure that political parties do not allow the participation of children in any election-related activities.

District Election Officers and Returning Officers have been directed to ensure strict compliance with child labour laws and electoral guidelines. “Any violation of these provisions by election machinery under their jurisdiction will result in severe disciplinary action,” the Commission said.

Exact Dates For Lok Sabha Elections Yet To Be Officially Announced

India is scheduled to hold general elections in April or May of 2024 to choose 543 participants in the Lok Sabha. Senior poll officials and experts expect that election dates will be announced in late February or early March, so as to finish the process of voting by the last week of May. Before deciding on the schedule, the ECI usually dispatches a panel of officials’ names who are entrusted officially to supervise planning throughout all states.


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