Ec Puts Star Campaigners On A \'notice\', Asks Parties To Maintain Decorum

EC puts star campaigners on a ‘notice’, asks parties to maintain decorum

New Delhi, March 1 : Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission (EC) of India has put star campaigners and candidates on a ‘notice’ in case of violations that followed the previously known methodologies during elections to avoid model code of conduct (MCC).

 Ec Puts Star Campaigners On A 'notice', Asks Parties To Maintain

The EC in a statement on Friday said that it will assess any indirect MCC violations as per advisory as a “fair basis to re-work the notices to be given in terms of time and content in issue in the forthcoming elections”.

For the general elections to the Lok Sabha and to four Legislative Assemblies, “all phases and geographical area of elections shall be the basis to determine ‘repeat’ offences”, the poll body said in an advisory to political parties.

Acknowledging the need to keep a balance between the freedom of expression and level playing field, the advisory noted that the Commission has been following a “self-restrained approach since the previous few rounds of elections, presuming that its notice would serve as a moral censure to the candidate or star campaigner”.

Taking note of the various trends and cases of plummeting levels of political campaign discourse in recently held elections, the ECI asked all political parties to maintain decorum.

“Orders issued by the Commission are carefully crafted to ensure minimal disruption to campaigning activities than outright prohibitions.However, the objective to check on the level of discourse, using MCC notices in a judicious way, akin to a moral censure, may not be misunderstood and repeated in the next election cycle,” it said.

“Additionally, advisory has acknowledged the evolving landscape of information technology and social media platforms has blurred the lines between pre-MCC and the 48-hour silence period, leading to persistent circulation of content across multiple phases of campaigning and even unrelated elections,” the EC statement noted.

“No appeal shall be made on the basis of caste or communal feelings of the electors.No activity, which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different candes/communities/religious/linguistic groups,” the advisory said.

“The political parties and leaders shall not make false statements, utterances without factual basis aimed at misleading the voters.Criticism of other parties or their workers on the basis of unverified allegations or on distortions shall be avoided,” it said.

The poll body also advised parties and leader restrain from making “low level personal attacks to insult the rivals”.

It said that no places of worship should be used for election propaganda or electioneering.

“Unverified and misleading advertisements are not to be given in the media.Social media posts vilifying and insulting the rivals or posts which are in bad taste or which are below dignity are not to be posted or shared,” the advisory said.

The EC also warned parties and leaders against the attempts to lure voters for non-existent schemes.



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