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Model Code of Conduct (MCC) issued by ECI i/c/w Loksabha Elections 2024

Ensuring Fair Elections: Immediate Action to Enforce the Model Code of Conduct


As the democratic fabric of our nation weaves another chapter with the announcement of General Elections to the House of the People (Lok Sabha), 2024, and State Legislative Assemblies in select states, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has initiated stringent measures to uphold the integrity of the electoral process. In a missive dated March 16, 2024, addressed to key stakeholders, the ECI outlined imperative directives to ensure the effective enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).


Overview of Directives

Prevention of Defacement of Property: The Commission mandates the removal of any defacement on government, public, and private properties within specified time frames, underscoring the importance of preserving public spaces during the electoral period.


Restriction on Use of Official Vehicles: A total ban on the use of official vehicles for campaigning or election-related activities, except for designated officials, is enforced, mitigating the misuse of state resources for partisan gains.


Regulation of Advertisements: Advertisements highlighting government achievements, funded by public exchequer, are barred from electronic and print media post-announcement. Immediate withdrawal of such ads is mandated to maintain impartiality.


Removal of Political References from Official Websites: Political references on government websites are to be promptly removed, ensuring neutrality in public communication platforms during the election phase.


Monitoring Development Activities: Detailed lists of ongoing and proposed development projects are compiled to scrutinize any deviation from MCC guidelines, promoting fairness and accountability in election-related activities.


Expenditure Monitoring and Complaint Redressal: Robust mechanisms, including flying squads and complaint monitoring systems, are activated to address violations promptly and maintain transparency in election processes.


Information Dissemination and Awareness: Extensive outreach efforts, leveraging educational institutions and civil societies, are initiated to disseminate voter education materials and foster awareness among stakeholders.


Media Regulation: Political parties are required to seek pre-certification for electronic media advertisements from Media Certification and Monitoring Committees (MCMC), ensuring adherence to ethical standards in election-related communication.


Operationalization of IT Applications and Media Centers: Essential IT applications, media centers, and communication channels are activated to facilitate voter education and information dissemination.


Conclusion

The directives issued by the ECI underscore its unwavering commitment to conducting free, fair, and transparent elections. By adhering to these guidelines, electoral stakeholders play a pivotal role in safeguarding the democratic ethos of our nation, ensuring that the electoral process remains an epitome of integrity and inclusivity.


In conclusion, the implementation of these directives fosters a conducive environment for democratic participation, upholding the sanctity of the electoral process and reinforcing the principles of democracy in our nation.

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