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Latest NewsLok Sabha Polls | Model Code Comes Into Force, EC Reminds Parties...

Lok Sabha Polls | Model Code Comes Into Force, EC Reminds Parties To Maintain Decorum During Campaign


NEW DELHI, Mar 16: The Model Code of Conduct came into force on Saturday with the announcement of Lok Sabha polls by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, who requested political parties to maintain decorum during campaigning.
Polling for the 543 Lok Sabha seats will be held in seven phases, starting with 102 in the first phase on April 19. The votes will be counted on June 4.
“I urge parties to refrain from personal attacks and foul language. No-go areas in speeches are defined to maintain civility. Let us not cross lines in our rivalry. We have issued an advisory for the political parties, they are encouraged to foster a political discourse that inspires rather than divides,” he said.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kumar also advised the political parties against hate speeches, caste or religious appeals, criticism of any aspect of private life, masquerading of advertisements as news and social media posts vilifying or insulting rivals.
“Pattern of past MCC (Model Code of Conduct) violations will prepare the ground for civilised campaigning during the . There should be a responsibility on star campaigners for maintaining decorum,” he said.
Responding to a question about allegations of bias in dealing with MCC violations during previous elections, the CEC said, “Wherever there will be a case of violation against anyone, however renowned the politician may be, we will not sit back. We will take action.”
“Earlier, we used to morally censor but now we will take action,” Kumar added.
The MCC is a set of conventions agreed upon by all stakeholders and imposed during elections. Its objective is to keep the campaigning, polling and the counting process orderly, clean and peaceful and check any abuse of state machinery and finances by the party in power.
While it does not enjoy any statutory backing, the Supreme Court has upheld its sanctity on several occasions.
The Election Commission is fully authorised to investigate any violation of the code and pronounce punishment.
The MCC finds its origin during 1960 assembly elections in Kerala when the administration tried to evolve a code of conduct for the political parties. The code has evolved over the last 60 years to assume its present form.

According to the Election Commission of , the MCC states that the party in power at the Centre and in the states should ensure that it does not use its official position for campaigning.
Ministers and other government authorities cannot announce financial grants in any form. No project or scheme that may have the effect of influencing the voter in favour of the party in power can be announced, and ministers cannot use official machinery for campaign purposes.
The MCC contains eight provisions dealing with general conduct, meetings, processions, polling day, polling booths, observers, the party in power, and election manifestos.
The code also says that ministers must not combine official visits with election work or use official machinery for the same. The ruling party cannot use government transport or machinery for campaigning. It should also ensure that public places such as maidans etc for holding election meetings, and facilities like the use of helipads are provided to the opposition parties on the same terms and conditions on which they are used by the party in power.
The issue of advertisement at the cost of the public exchequer in newspapers and other media is also considered an offence. The ruling dispensation also cannot make any ad-hoc appointments in government, public sector undertakings etc that may influence the voters.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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