In the run-up to 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission (EC) sent a notice to the BJP’s then-prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for a “politically-charged” address to the media and for flashing his party’s symbol outside the Gandhinagar polling booth.
The EC had held that Modi violated the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct that prohibits anyone from canvassing within 100 metres of a polling booth. On the EC’s orders, the Gujarat Police filed two FIRs against Modi.
But, what is this Model Code of Conduct? Are violations a regular affair for politicians? Is it a ‘model’ or a ‘moral’ code? And what happens to those who break this code?
On Sunday, 10 March, the Election Commission imposed the Model Code of Conduct, as it announced the dates for the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Here’s a quick primer on what it means.
The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is simply a set of guidelines issued by the EC to ensure free and fair polls. It comes into force from the day the EC announces the schedule for the Lok Sabha elections till the date the results are announced.
According to Article 324 of the Constitution, the EC has the power to monitor the Centre, all the state governments, all the candidates and their respective political parties.