Model code of conduct lifted, says Election Commission

Polling in the world's biggest election exercise was held in seven phases beginning on 19 April and ended on 1 June.

ByPTI

Published Jun 07, 2024 | 11:36 AMUpdatedJun 07, 2024 | 11:36 AM

Election Commission of India (ECI) (Wikimedia Commons)

The model code of conduct that came into force on 16 March with the announcement of the Lok Sabha election has been lifted.

In a communication to the Union Cabinet Secretary and state chief secretaries, the Election Commission said as results of Lok Sabha elections and Assembly polls in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh along with some assembly by-polls have been declared, “model code of conduct has ceased to be in operation with immediate effect”.

The poll code was lifted on a day when the Election Commission led by Rajiv Kumar handed over a list of winning candidates to President Droupadi Murmu, putting in motion the process to constitute the 18th Lok Sabha.

The voting period for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, spread over 44 days, was the second longest after the first parliamentary elections of 1951-52 which lasted for more than four months.

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82 days of MCC

The total number of days of the electoral process this time, from the announcement of the polls by the Election Commission on 16 March to the counting of votes on 4 June, was 82. Polling in the world’s biggest election exercise was held in seven phases beginning on 19 April.

The model code of conduct is a set of conventions agreed upon by all stakeholders and imposed during elections. Its objective is to keep the campaigning, polling and counting process orderly, clean and peaceful and check any abuse of state machinery and finances by the party in power.

While poll code does not enjoy any statutory backing, the Supreme Court has upheld its sanctity on several occasions. The Election Commission is fully authorised to investigate any violation of the code and pronounce punishment.

The poll code finds its origin during the 1960 Assembly elections in Kerala when the administration tried to evolve a code of conduct for the political parties. The code has evolved over the last 60 years to assume its present form.

According to the Election Commission of India, the model code of conduct states that the parties in power at the Centre and in the states should ensure that they do not use their official position for campaigning.

Ministers and other government authorities cannot announce financial grants in any form. No project or scheme that may have the effect of influencing the voter in favour of the party in power can be announced, and ministers cannot use official machinery for campaign purposes when the poll code is in effect.

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