The Election Commission has warned political parties that it will no longer remain a mute spectator and strictest possible action will be taken against violation of the model code of conduct. In a letter addressed to all the office bearers of political parties, the poll panel reminded the parties that the model code of conduct, that came in force on January 4 when elections in five states were announced. The letter from Election Commission has also reminded the political parties not to make any statement based on religious or caste lines.

The letter from Election Commission addressed to the office-bearers of all the political parties said, “Political parties and their leaders should desist from making statements to the effect of creating disharmony between different sections of society on the basis of religion as the same disturb the peace and tranquility of the society which is absolutely essential for free and peaceful conduct of elections. The Commission will not remain silent spectator if the provisions of law of MCC (model code of conduct) are violated and no one can do it with impunity. The Commission will take stern action for all violations under all powers available.” The Election Commission has also referred to the recent Supreme Court judgement banning the use of religion, caste or language to seek votes during the election.

In another decision, Election Commission has asked the poll machinery to remove the pictures and hoardings of all political leaders or parties showing their achievements in all the five states which go to poll. The Election Commission said photos in advertisements or hoardings should also be removed or “covered suitably” so that spirit of its instructions is fully complied with. “Hoardings put up by the government which convey general message to the masses on family planning or social welfare schemes may be allowed to be displayed. However, all those hoardings, advertisements which seek or purport to project the achievements of any living political functionary or political party and which carry their photos or name or party symbol should be removed forthwith.”

This means that all the posters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi which convey the messages on social welfare schemes, such as Ujjwala scheme at petrol pumps, or other welfare measures will NOT be removed.


Kshitij Mohan