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EC hired BJP IT cell ahead of 2019 Maharashtra assembly polls, alleges Activist Saket Gokhale

Sheyphali Sharan, the official spokesperson of ECI, responded to the issue informing that ECI has sought details and a factual report from the CEO Maharashtra regarding the allegations.

EC hired BJP IT cell ahead of 2019 Maharashtra assembly polls, alleges Activist Saket Gokhale
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The Election Commission of India (ECI) sought a report from Maharashtra Chief Election Officer after Activist Saket Gokhale on Thursday made a shocking revelation that the ECI hired a digital advertising agency - “Social Central” - ahead of the 2019 Maharashtra assembly elections. 

Gokhale alleged that the company had direct links with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). His ‘expose’ caused a stir on social media after which Sheyphali Sharan, the official spokesperson of ECI, responded to the issue informing that ECI has sought details and a factual report from the CEO Maharashtra regarding the allegations. 

In a series of tweet, Gokhale said that the “ECI hired the BJP IT cell for handling their social media in Maharashtra” ahead of the 2019 state assembly polls. He tweeted that the social media advertisements of the Maharashtra CEO had the same address - “202 Pressman House, Vile Parle, Mumbai”. 

Gokhale, who is a former journalist, said that the address belongs to an advertising company called “Signpost India” which was an empanelled agency under the then Devendra Fadnavis government. 

“But wait - that's not half the story,” he said and further revealed that the address is shared by a digital agency called “Social Central” which is owned by Devang Dave who is the national convener at Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) for IT and social media. 

In more revelations, Gokhale shows that the Social Central’s address is also found in one of the posts for a Facebook page “The Fearless Indian” which he says is full of the hateful political content of BJP IT cell. 

“Devang Dave is also the founder of websites and pages like ‘The Fearless Indian’, ‘I Support Narendra Modi’ etc. His agency lists the BJP (naturally) as a client along with other govt. entities (sic),” he tweeted. 

The Signpost India which is now temporarily closed (as reflected on Google) shares the same address with Social Central. “202 Pressman House, Vile Parle, Mumbai” is the same address which posted ads for CEO Maharashtra ahead of state assembly polls in 2019. Moreover, Social Central’s website shows CEO Maharashtra as one of their clients. 

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