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Significance of Model Code of Conduct

What is the Model Code of Conduct?

1. It is a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission to regulate political parties and candidates prior to elections, to ensure free and fair elections.

2. It is issued based on the provisions of Article 324 of the Constitution which gives the Election Commission the power to supervise elections to the Parliament and state legislatures.

When the Model Code of Conduct comes into force?

1. Model Code of Conduct (MCC) has come into force after announcement of dates for elections.

2. It will be operational from the date that the election schedule is announced until the date the results are announced.

How the Model Code of Conduct works?

1. The MCC is not enforceable by law.  

2. Some provisions of the MCC may be enforced through invoking corresponding provisions in other statutes such as the Indian Penal Code, 1860, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, and Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Why is the Model Code of Conduct important?

1. It ensures a free and fair election.

2. Balance of power among the opposition and those in power in an election is checked.

3. Casteism, indecency, and excesses are prohibited.

Which are the key provisions of Model Code of Conduct?

1. No new initiation of new projects/opening of tenders by any government officials.

2. No use of government machinery for the propaganda of the ruling party manifesto or achievement

3. All transfers of government officials have to be first approved by the Election Commission.

4. Candidates cannot use a religious place for their advertisement, bribe or threaten voters, spend more than the limit set.

5. Criticism of political parties must be limited to their policies and programmes, past record and work.

Where can the evolution in the election process be seen?

1. The average Indian voter is much better aware of his/her rights as compared to past elections.

2. The Indian election process has been praised throughout the world.

3. Technology such as the use of electronic voting machines has reduced events like booth capturing and impersonation of voters.