The Election Commission has started training police personnel on various aspects of the model code of conduct for elections to ensure that no political party violates the rules regarding electioneering.
Model code of conduct is a set of norms which has been evolved with the consensus of political parties. It lays down rules for political parties, contesting candidates and party(s) in power how should they conduct themselves during the process of election, that is on their general conduct during electioneering, holding meetings and processions, poll day activities and functioning of the party in power, etc.
The model code of conduct is enforced from the date of announcement of election schedule by the Election Commission and is operational till the process of elections are completed.
During the training, the commission members are training police officers about various rules such as to take action against a candidate if there are more than 10 vehicles in his/her convoy. Over 150 Station House Officers (SHOs) are being trained, who in turn would train the police station staff. “Only 10 vehicles will be allowed in a convoy. The next one must be at the distance of 100 metres. Similarly, while filing nomination the candidate can only be accompanied by three persons,” said a senior police officer.
Though the date of elections in Delhi has not been announced yet, the training would help the police officers maintain law and order in the city during the campaign. “It is better to receive training before the implementation of the code of conduct. After that we will get busy with bandobast for rallies. There are some new rules that have been added to the code and we are sensitising the staff about it,” said the officer.
According to sources, earlier the chair of two polling booths in charge used to be at the distance of 100 metre but now it has been increased to 200 metres so that those in queue maintain a distance with each other.
“In the past we have observed that party members try to influence voters near the polling booth. No party member would be allowed within the 100 metres of a booth,” the officer said.