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Fact Check: Did CEC Kumar Avoid Addressing A Scribe’s Query? Here Is The Truth

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The schedule for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections has been officially released, spanning seven phases from April 19 to June 1, with vote counting scheduled for June 4. Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, alongside Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, disclosed this timetable during a press briefing on March 16. Against the backdrop, a video has surfaced on social media showing a journalist questioning whether the Election Commission will take action against the ruling party for breaching the model code of conduct (MCC), or if only opposition leaders will face consequences. Many users on social media claim that the Election Commissioners avoided addressing her question.

A Facebook user posted with a caption: “Spineless EC skipped her brave question!!”

The above post can be seen here.

FACT CHECK

NewsMobile fact-checked the viral post, and found it to be misleading.

Running a Reverse Image Search of the video keyframes, our team traced a live stream video with similar visuals on a verified YouTube channel Election Commission of India, dated March 16, 2024, with a caption: “Press Conference by ECI”.

The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Rajiv Kumar, led the press conference, commencing with a presentation of detailed electoral statistics and advisories for contesting political parties. Subsequently, journalists posed their inquiries, with the viral video clip capturing a question asked by a woman introduced as Ashlin Mathew from the National Herald, occurring at the 1-hour and 54-second mark of the footage. Among the questions asked during that session, Mathew’s question was the fourth one in the series before the CEC responded to sets of five questions.

Rajiv Kumar also addressed the issue of bias regarding the handling of MCC violations, stating: “Wherever there will be a case of violation against anyone, no matter how renowned the politician may be, we will take action against him or her.” This came following his responses to the initial round of queries, including the one featured in the viral video at the 1-hour, 10-minute, and 22-second mark. The Deccan Herald also reported on the conference, confirming the CEC’s response regarding the handling of MCC violations.

Hence, we can conclusively say that an edited video was shared to claim that the ECI skipped a journalist’s question at a press conference.


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