Lok Sabha election 2019: Model Code of Conduct comes into effect

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Model Code of Conduct : UPSC IAS

The Election Commission of India (ECI) announced dates for the all-important 2019 Lok Sabha polls with the model code of conduct coming into force .

What is model code of conduct?

Model code of conduct  is a set of guidelines laid down by the Election Commission to govern the conduct of political parties and candidates in the run-up to an election.

  • The main aim is to ensure that the ruling party, either at the Centre or in the states, does not misuse its official position to gain an unfair advantage in an election.
  • The Code instructs Government bodies to not to participate in any recruitment process during the Electoral process.
  • The contesting candidates and their campaigners must respect the personal life of their rivals and should not disturb them by holding road shows or demonstrations in front of their houses.
  • The election campaign rallies and road shows must not hinder the road traffic.
  • The election Code in force hinders the government or ruling party leaders from launching new welfare programmes like construction of roads, provision of drinking water facilities etc. or any ribbon-cutting ceremonies.
  • The Code instructs that the public spaces like meeting grounds, helipads, government guest houses and bungalows should be equally shared among the contesing candidates. These public spaces should not be monopolised by a few candidates.
  • On the polling day, the Code asks all party candidates to cooperate to the poll-duty officials at the voting booths for an orderly voting process. Candidate should not display their election symbols near and around the poll booths on the polling day. No one should enter the booths without valid pass from the Election Commission.
  • The ruling party should not use its seat of power for the campaign purposes.
  • The ruling party ministers should not make any ad-hoc appointment of officials, which may influence the voters in favour of the party in power, the Model Code of Conduct says.

Impact on Policy:

  1. Model code of conduct stops policies which my affect the out come of the election. In I.D. Systems (India) Pvt. Ltd. v/s. Chief Election Commissioner,  the Kerala High Court held that the object of model code of conduct is not to stop all governmental activities but only those actions which may directly influence a section of electors need to be prevented.
  2. Exceptions: Model code of conduct allows government to implement policies during emergencies. The election commission allowed state as well central government to provide relief to the victims of the flash floods of Uttarakhand just before the general elections.

Source:The Hindu

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