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Model code of conduct

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    14th Mar, 2019
  • Model code of conduct comes into effect across country with the announcement of LS elections.
  • Election Commission has also ordered that social media posts of a poster showing Wing Commander Abhinandan, shared by a BJP leader, be taken down.

Issue

Context:

  • Model code of conduct comes into effect across country with the announcement of LS elections.
  • Election Commission has also ordered that social media posts of a poster showing Wing Commander Abhinandan, shared by a BJP leader, be taken down.

About:

What is model code of Conduct?

  • It is a consensus document i.e. political parties have themselves agreed to keep their conduct during elections in check, and to work within the code.
  • Article 324 of the Constitution gives the EC the power to monitor the Centre, all the state governments, all the candidates and their respective political parties. The Election Commission of India releases these guidelines to conduct free and fair election in the country.
  • Candidates and parties should-
  1. Show respect to their opponents
  2. Criticise their policies and programmes constructively
  3. Not resort to mudslinging and personal attacks
  • At the time of Lok Sabha elections, both the Union and state governments are covered.
  • It contains 8 parts:
  • Part 1: Deals with general precepts of good behaviour expected from candidates and political parties.
  • Part 2 and 3: Focus on public meetings and processions.
  • Part 4 and 5: Describe how political parties and candidates should conduct themselves on the day of polling and at the polling booths.
  • Part 6: About authority appointed by the EC to receive complaints on violations of the MCC.
  • Part 7: About the political party in power.
  • Part 8: Manifestos must be pursuant to the directions of the Supreme Court.

Background:

  • Kerala was the first state to adopt a code of conduct for elections. It did so in 1960 assembly elections.
  • The Election Commission decided to emulate Kerala’s example and circulate the draft among all recognised parties and the state governments for the Lok Sabha elections 1962.
  • In 1974, the EC released a formal Model Code of Conduct.
  • The EC, just before the 1979 Lok Sabha elections, released a revised Model Code with seven parts, with one part devoted to the party in power and what it could and could not do once elections were announced.
  • In 2014, EC introduced Part VIII on manifestos, pursuant to the directions of the Supreme Court.
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