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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: ECI issued a stern clarification on ‘viral’ poll schedule

The fake message shared the full schedule for the general election. It said the polls would be notified on March 12, bringing the model code of conduct into force.

NEW DELHI:   The  Election Commission has clarified after a fake message claiming that the Lok Sabha election is on April 19 started doing the rounds.

The fake message shared the full schedule for the general election. It said the polls would be notified on March 12, bringing the model code of conduct into force. The deadline to file nominations, the fake message said, was March 28. The date of polling in the fake message was April 19 and the result day was May 22.

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The fake message, in which a letterhead of the poll body can be seen, started doing the rounds on WhatsApp groups. Many raised questions on how the general election can be conducted in a single-phase.

Amid the confusion, the Election Commission yesterday clarified that the viral message is fake. “A fake message is being shared on WhatsApp regarding schedule for #LokSabhaElections2024. #FactCheck: The message is #Fake. No dates have been announced so far by #ECI,” it said in a post on X.

Election Schedule is announced by the Commission through a press conference,” the poll body added. It also used the hashtag “#VerifyBeforeYouAmplify” to drive home the point that people must verify facts before forwarding messages.

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This comes a month after an internal note circulated by the office of Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer sparked confusion. The note mentioned April 16 as the tentative “poll date” to help officials speed up the preparations.

The Chief Electoral Officer’s office clarified that the date was mentioned only for “reference” for officials to plan activities. “Some media queries are coming referring to a circular by @CeodelhiOffice to clarify whether April 16 is tentative poll day for Lok Sabha elections. It is clarified that this date was mentioned only for ‘reference’ for officials to plan activities as per Election Planner of ECI,” the poll officer’s office posted on X.

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