Assembly polls in 5 states: Model code of conduct comes into force | India News

NEW DELHI: The model code of conduct for governments, candidates and political parties has come into force with the announcement of the election schedule for five states.
The model code is a set of guidelines, issued by the Election Commission, for political parties, candidates, government and the party in power during elections concerning speeches, announcements, election manifestos and general conduct.
Governments of the poll-bound states have been directed to ensure that there is no misuse of official machinery and position when the poll code is in force.
All provisions of the poll code will apply to the whole of Goa, Manipur, Punjab Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh with regard to all candidates, political parties and the governments of the five states, the Election Commission said on Saturday.
“The Model Code of Conduct shall also apply to the Union government in so far as announcements or policy decisions pertaining to and for Goa, Manipur, Punjab Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh are concerned,” it said.
The panel said it has made elaborate arrangements to ensure the effective implementation of the poll code.
“Any violation of the guidelines will be strictly dealt with and the commission re-emphasises that the instructions issued in this regard from time to time should be read and understood by all political parties, candidates and their agents or representatives to avoid any misgivings or lack of information or inadequate understanding,” the panel said.
The commission has also issued instructions for swift, effective and stringent action for enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct during the first 72 hours of the announcement of the election schedule and also for maintaining extra vigilance and strict enforcement action in the 72 hours before the close of polls.
To a question on action EC will take against parties and candidates violating Covid guidelines while holding rallies, Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra said the rallies could be cancelled and the parties will not be allowed to hold rallies at the same venue.
Announcing the month-long election schedule with a strong focus on digital and virtual modes of campaigning because of the Omicron scare, Chandra said the ban on rallies, roadshows, nukkad sabhas, padayatras and vehicle rallies will be reviewed on January 15.

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