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Election commission directs strict enforcement of Model Code of Conduct following Lok Sabha poll schedule announcement

In response to the announcement of Lok Sabha Elections and Assembly Elections in four States, the Election Commission has issued stringent directives for the effective enforcement of provisions outlined in the Model Code of Conduct. In a communiqué addressed to the Cabinet Secretary, Chief Secretaries of all States, and Chief Electoral Officers, the Commission underscored the imperative of promptly removing any form of wall-writing, posters, papers, or defacement on government property within 24 hours of the election announcement.

The Commission mandated the swift removal, within 48 hours, of all unauthorized political advertisements, encompassing wall writings, posters, hoardings, banners, and flags in public spaces such as railway stations and bus stands. Similarly, unauthorized political advertisements exhibited on private property must be eliminated within 72 hours from the declaration of elections.

In a bid to ensure a level playing field, the Commission enforced a blanket prohibition on the utilization of official vehicles by any political party, candidate, or affiliated individuals for campaign purposes, except for officials executing election-related official duties, subject to specific exceptions. Additionally, it barred the issuance of advertisements in electronic and print media that highlight the achievements of the Government at the expense of public funds.

Under the purview of the directives, Chief Electoral Officers and District Election Officers are mandated to swiftly remove or cease any advertisement showcasing government achievements immediately after the election announcement. Moreover, they are tasked with promptly removing or concealing photographs of any political functionary from official state department websites.

To facilitate transparent and accountable electoral processes, the Commission mandated the establishment of a complaint redressal mechanism in poll-bound states, centered on a website and call center. The toll-free number for the call center has been designated as 1950. Furthermore, the dissemination of essential information pertaining to major election activities is slated to occur through radio, television, cinema, and government channels, aimed at promoting voter education and awareness.

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Last Updated: 16th Apr 2024