Taking a strong note of the leaders, both at the national and state levels, indulging in personal attacks, on the character or conduct of the leaders and candidates of rival parties, the Election Commission of India, in order to check such utterances, has issued detailed guidelines to the political parties and candidates, for mainaining high standards of campaign, to be observed during the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in the country.
Stating this in Chandigarh on Thursday, a spokesman of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said that candidates were often observed making intemperate and derogatory remarks against each other in their election speeches at public meeting and rallies, giving rise to communal hatred, disharmony or ill-will and aggravating the differences between classes of citizens on grounds of religion, caste and community.
Giving details of the guidelines, the spokesman said that no party or candidate shall indulge in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religion or linguistic.
Criticism of other political parties, when made, shall be confined to their policies and programme, past record and work. Parties and candidates shall refrain from criticism of all aspects of private life, no connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers of other parties.
Criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations or distortion shall be avoided.
There shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes. Mosques, Chruches, Temples or otherplaces of worship shall not be used as forum for election propaganda, he said.