Election Commission order places Telangana under model code of conduct

The model code of conduct came into force in poll-bound Telangana following an Election Commission directive that henceforth the guidelines would be implemented immediately after the early dissolution of a Legislative Assembly.

EC has also held that after dissolution caretaker government as well as the central government is barred from announcing new schemes in a particular state from date of dissolution of legislative assembly till new House is elected.

These are the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India for the conduct of political parties and candidates during elections mainly with respect to speeches, polling day, polling booths, election manifestos, processions and general conduct.

Aim: To ensure free and fair elections.

So far, the Model Code of Conduct came into force immediately on the announcement of the election schedule by the commission. The Code remains in force until the end of the electoral process.

The need for such code is in the interest of free and fair elections. However, the code does not have any specific statutory basis. It has only a persuasive effect. It contains what is known as “rules of electoral morality”. But this lack of statutory backing does not prevent the Commission from enforcing it.

The Commission issued the code for the first time in 1971 (5th Election) and revised it from time to time. This set of norms has been evolved with the consensus of political parties who have consented to abide by the principles embodied in the said code and also binds them to respect and observe it in its letter and spirit.

The salient features of the Model Code of Conduct lay down how political parties, contesting candidates and party(s) in power should conduct themselves during the process of elections i.e. on their general conduct during electioneering, holding meetings and processions, poll day activities and functioning of the party in power etc.

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