India is due for the 17th Lok Sabha elections to be held in seven phases starting April 11. The elections schedule was announced on March 10 post which the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) came to force.
To track and ensure speedy redressal for any violations of the MCC, the Election Commission of India rolled out the cVIGIL mobile application that allows citizens to report such violations.
The App Essentials
The app requires an Android smartphone equipped with a camera, good internet connection and GPS access. The operating system should be Android jellybean and above. The application supports all the latest Android smartphones.
Every citizen can lodge a complaint through the Mobile App. Citizens can upload photographs and videos and describe the issue in brief, if they feel the act violates the poll code.
The location will be automatically mapped by the Geographic Information System. The information will reach the District Control Room from where a Field Unit or Flying Squad will be assigned to further investigate into the matter.
Within 100 minutes of launching the complaint, the citizen will be notified with the action taken by the flying squad. Users are also provided with an option to anonymously complain about any violation.
According to a report, so far, 135 cases have been registered in Pune district till last Friday, of which action has been taken in 122 cases by officials concerned.
- The application is meant only for Model Code of Conduct Violations.
- The app allows the user 5 minutes to submit an incident report after having clicked a picture or a video.
- The app will not allow uploading of pre-recorded images/ videos.
- The photos/videos clicked via this app cannot be saved in the gallery.
- The application has a feature that allows citizens to file a complaint only in the States where Elections have been announced.
- Any citizen who has installed cVIGIL will find that the app becomes active only in the States undergoing elections.
Speaking about the Election Commission’s initiative to curb violations, Praveen Jadhav, a local politician says, “The initiative is definitely commendable. The elections in India are a massive affair with multiple parties trying to reserve a seat.
“In the fight they often use many unfair means and resort to practices that are a clear violation of the code of conduct. Moreover, people also fall in the trap and in a way support and encourage such politicians.
“But now, an active citizen will be able to report any kind of infringement, putting the leaders in a fix. Providing free transportation for voters to offering gifts and freebies, many political figures try to woo the voters and influence their votes.
The assigned authority however should be ready to address all the incoming complaints and put a tap on such illegal practices,” Jadhav adds.
Supriya Meghawaley, an active Hadapsar resident opines how this application will make the citizens and the contesting party leaders pro-active, rather than depending on unfair practices to persuade the voters.
“We know which individual is working and contesting for the welfare of the people and who is not. But even citizens wait till the day of the vote to receive some compensation from political parties in the promise to favour the party.
“It is also us who are responsible for the increased number of complaints reported in the city. However, now everyone will be aware and attentive that a watchdog is continuously observing, and they cannot play with the future of the country,” Supriya adds.
Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @KaurKaur18
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