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Elections in India invariably mean a lot of noise, traffic jams and the same old, unfulfilled promises. But are our politicians and their election campaigns subjected to any rules? In this episode of Sadda Haq, The Quint explains how the Model Code of Conduct is applied and what it means for you.
What is the Model Code of Conduct?
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.
What Are the Important Provisions of the MCC?
> GENERAL CONDUCT: While political parties can criticise the other candidates based on policies and programmes and their work record, they are not allowed to use caste and communal sentiments to lure voters. They cannot bribe or intimidate voters and most importantly, they cannot criticise them based on unverified reports.
> MEETINGS: It is mandatory for the political parties to inform the local police about their rallies and public meetings and provide them time to make adequate security arrangements.
> PROCESSIONS: Carrying or burning effigies of the opponents is not allowed. If two rival parties plan a road show in the same area, then their routes must not clash.
> POLLING DAY: All those workers who are working for their parties in the polling booth must wear a badge with party name and symbol.
> POLLING BOOTHS: Apart from voters, only those individuals with a permit from the EC will be allowed to enter polling booths. The political party must not campaign for votes within a distance of 100 metres of the polling booth on the day of voting.
> OBSERVERS: If candidates have concerns about the conduct of election, they can reach out to observers appointed by the EC.
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