Electoral Reforms In India

MCC to kick in right after premature dissolution of Assembly: ECDOMRPrelims Only


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Mains Paper 2: Governance | Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the Model Code of Conduct

Mains level: Read the attached story.


News

MCC in Telangana

  1. The Election Commission has issued an order on the enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct from the date a state dissolves its Assembly and seeks early elections in Telangana.
  2. Telangana CM K.C. Rao has recommended dissolution of the House to avoid possible clubbing of the Assembly elections in the state with Lok Sabha elections.

In context of SR Bommai Case

  1. The EC issued the order keeping the Supreme Court’s observation in S R Bommai Vs Union of India (1994) case.
  2. It said neither the caretaker state government nor the central government shall announce any new schemes and projects in respect of the state or undertake any of the activities prohibited under the Part-VII of the MCC.
  3. The EC said in case of premature dissolution of legislative assembly, the provisions of Part-VII (Party in Power) of the MCC shall come into operation with immediate effect in the state concerned.
  4. The MCC shall continue to be in force till the completion of the election to constitute the new legislative assembly.

Back2Basics

Model Code of Conduct

  1. The MCC is a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India for conduct of political parties and candidates during elections.
  2. It is mainly regulated with respect to speeches, polling day, polling booths, election manifestos, processions and general conduct.
  3. These set of norms has been evolved with the consensus of political parties who have consented to abide by the principles embodied in the said code in its letter and spirit.
  4. MCC comes into force immediately on announcement of the election schedule by the commission for the need of ensuring free and fair elections.

Highlights of the Codes

  1. Government bodies are not to participate in any recruitment process during the electoral process.
  2. The contesting candidates and their campaigners must respect the home life of their rivals and should not disturb them by holding road shows or demonstrations in front of their houses. The code tells the candidates to keep it.
  3. The election campaign rallies and road shows must not hinder the road traffic.
  4. Candidates are asked to refrain from distributing liquor to voters. It is a widely known fact in India that during election campaigning, liquor may be distributed to the voters.
  5. The election code in force hinders the government or ruling party leaders from launching new welfare programmes like construction of roads, provision of drinking water facilities etc. or any ribbon-cutting ceremonies.
  6. The code instructs that public spaces like meeting grounds, helipads, government guest houses and bungalows should be equally shared among the contesting candidates. These public spaces should not be monopolized by a few candidates.
  7. On polling day, all party candidates should cooperate with the poll-duty officials at the voting booths for an orderly voting process.
  8. Candidates should not display their election symbols near and around the poll booths on the polling day. No one should enter the booths without a valid pass from the Election Commission.
  9. There will be poll observers to whom any complaints can be reported or submitted.
  10. The ruling party should not use its seat of power for the campaign purposes.
  11. The ruling party ministers should not make any ad-hoc appointment of officials, which may influence the voters in favour of the party in power.
  12. Before using loud speakers during their poll campaigning, candidates and political parties must obtain permission or license from the local authorities.
  13. The candidates should inform the local police for conducting election rallies to enable the police authorities to make required security arrangements.

For further reading on MCC, navigate to this page:

Model Code of Conduct: Evolution, Enforcement, Effects, Legal Status

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