Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) has come into effect from today itself and called upon all parties to strictly adhere to the same. The code lays down a list of dos and don’ts for the political parties ahead of elections.
What is the Model Code of Conduct?
The Election Commission’s Model Code of Conduct is a set of guidelines issued to regulate political parties and candidates prior to elections.
The rules range from issues related to respect to speeches, polling day, polling booths, portfolios, content of election manifestos, processions and general conduct, so that free and fair elections are conducted.
According to Article 324 of the Constitution, the EC has the power to monitor the Centre, all the state governments, all the candidates and their respective political parties.
When does the Model Code of Conduct come into effect?
According to the Press Information Bureau, a version of the MCC was first introduced in the state assembly elections in Kerala in 1960. It was largely followed by all parties in the 1962 elections and continued to be followed in subsequent general elections. In October 1979, the EC added a section to regulate the ‘party in power’ and prevent it from gaining an unfair advantage at the time of elections.
What restrictions does the Model Code of Conduct impose?
* The ruling party must not advertise at the cost of the public exchequer or use official mass media for publicity on achievements.
* No Member of Parliament or minister should combine their official visit with campaigning or party work.
* Ministers and other authorities must not announce any financial grants, or promise any construction of roads, provision of drinking water, and so on.
* Other parties must be allowed to use public spaces, and it must not be monopolised by those in power.