Do not use children in poll campaigning: EC to political parties

Ahead of Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission on Monday asked political parties not to use children in campaigning "in any form whatsoever", including for distribution of posters and pamphlets or sloganeering.
Election Commission of India
Election Commission of India

New Delhi | Ahead of Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission on Monday asked political parties not to use children in campaigning "in any form whatsoever", including for distribution of posters and pamphlets or sloganeering.

In an advisory sent to parties, the poll panel conveyed its "zero tolerance" towards use of children in any manner during the electoral process by parties and candidates.

Political leaders and candidates should not use children for campaign activities in any manner including holding a child in their arms, carrying a child in a vehicle or in rallies, the poll watchdog said.

"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...," EC said in a statement.

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

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar has consistently emphasised the pivotal role of political parties as the EC's key stakeholders, urging them to become active partners in upholding democratic values, especially in view of forthcoming parliamentary polls.

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