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Code of conduct for parties, candidates

india Updated: Dec 26, 2011 22:59 IST
Pawan Sharma
Pawan Sharma
Hindustan Times
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General conduct

* The party and the candidate contesting the polls cannot indulge in any activity that may aggravate the differences, create mutual hatred and tension between different castes and communities.
* The criticism of other political parties, when made, should be confined to their policies and programme, past record and work. Parties and candidates are barred from criticism of all aspects of private life not connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers of other parties. Criticism of other parties and their workers based on unverified allegations or distortion has to be avoided.
* The Election Commission of India also prohibits appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes. Mosques, churches, temples or other places of worship cannot be used as forums for election propaganda.
* All parties and candidates will have to avoid all activities which are “corrupt practices” and offences under the election law, such as bribing of voters, intimidation of voters, impersonation of voters, canvassing within 100 metres of polling stations, holding public meetings during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for the close of polling, and the transport and conveyance of voters to and from polling station.
* No political party or candidate can permit their followers to make use of any individual’s land, building, compound wall, etc, without his permission, for erecting flag staffs, suspending banners, pasting notices, writing slogans, etc.

Model code of conduct for party in power
* Ministers and other authorities shall not sanction grants/payments out of discretionary funds from the time elections are announced by the commission.
* From the time elections are announced by the commission, ministers and other authorities shall not announce any financial grants in any form or promises thereof; or (except civil servants) lay foundation stones etc of projects or schemes of any kind; or make any promise of construction of roads, provision of drinking water facilities etc; or make any ad hoc appointments in government, public undertakings, etc, which may have the effect of influencing the voters in favour of the party in power.
* The party in power in the state concerned shall ensure that no cause is given for any complaint that it has used its official position for the purposes of its election campaign.
* Government transport, including official aircraft, vehicles, machinery and personnel, shall not be used for furtherance of interest of the party in power.
* Public places such as maidans, etc for holding election meetings and use of helipads for air-flights in connection with elections shall not be monopolised by the party in power. Other parties and candidates shall be allowed the use of such places and facilities on the same terms and conditions on which they are used by the party in power.
* Rest houses, dak bungalows or other government accommodations shall not be monopolised by the party in power or its candidates.
* Issuing ads at the cost of public exchequer in newspapers and other media and the misuse of official mass media during the election period for partisan coverage of political news and publicity regarding achievements with a view to furthering the prospects of the party in power shall be scrupulously avoided.
* Ministers of Central or state govt shall not enter any polling station or place of counting except in their capacity as candidate, voter or authorised agent.