Election Commission’s Model Code of Conduct

INTRODUCTION

Recently, the assembly elections in five states took place. Politics today is so much in news that discussion of the Election Commission (EC) and the model code of conduct become apparent.

ABOUT MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT (MCC)        Election Commission's Model       

⇒ MCC as a mechanism originated because of the political parties only. They themselves asked for such a mechanism.

⇒ The story about it belongs to the year 1960. Kerala administration wanted to have a proper Code of Conduct which should be followed by every political party.

⇒ EC at the time (in 1962) passed the new guidelines of the Code of Conduct were passed to each of the political party. Consent of all parties was taken before sending these guidelines.

⇒ There was a growing misuse of funds and facilities which was seen by EC.

⇒ Before the 1979 general elections, a proper comprehensive MCC was put together (it was previously called Model Code of Conduct).

⇒ Still there were number of issues that MCC had to address.

⇒ In 1991, MCC was fine tuned to a higher level by the EC and the present MCC was born.

⇒ For the matter of fact, all the political parties by and large have abided to the guidelines mentioned in the MCC.

RESPECT FOR THE CODE

⇒ MCC deals with processions, meetings and poll day conduct.

⇒ But still minor incidents of liquor and cash delivery to the voter’s area specially before one day of the election is still happening.

⇒ Following restrictions are greatly followed:

1. Restrictions on the use of public places for meetings

2. Issue of advertisements extolling themselves at the cost of the public exchequer,

3. Announcing new schemes, making grants from discretionary funds

4. Making appointments in government departments or in public sector companies,

5. misusing public servants for party propaganda

⇒ Tangible violations like presence of a party symbol in school textbooks or using government vehicles for party propaganda can be easily controlled.

⇒ Guidelines are present on the way you speak about rivals private life or personal attacks.

⇒ But today the main problem being faced is about the clever “word play”.

⇒ Some phrase, a metaphor, an idiom, a repartee or some rhetoric is called into question by EC. E.g. the “Khooni Panja” remark of Mr. Modi.

⇒ But everything in this has to be understood in totality & not by just some words. So it poses a difficultly.

⇒ Wordsmith or Speakers with a gift of the gab may pepper their speeches with such turns of phrase but if the MCC is invoked in such matters, it would be a case of wielding a sledgehammer to swat a fly.

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