The Election Commission has expressed deep anguish over the "toxicity" seeping into the electoral campaign and asked all political parties and their leaders to observe the model code in letter and spirit.
Coming in the backdrop of several instances of hate speeches and offering of cash to voters, the Commission sent a detailed letter to all recognised political parties late last evening and asked them to follow the "sage advice" given by the Supreme Court.
"In conducting the electoral campaign, set high standards of electoral morality so as to ensure the integrity and purity of elections," the Commission said in its advisory.
Observing that the campaigning for the five-phased elections was gathering momentum and would soon reach a crescendo, the panel said it was pained to observe that many important leaders of political parties at the national and state levels were, in their election speeches at public meetings and rallies, making "intemperate and derogatory remarks."
They were "attacking the personal character or personal conduct of leaders and candidates of rival parties, or making highly provocative and inflammatory statements that have the effect of inciting communal hatred, disharmony or ill-will, and aggravating the differences between different classes of citizens on grounds of religion, caste and community."