Video explainer: How effective is the Model Code of Conduct, really?

DECODING INDIAN ELECTIONS - IV

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A guide to FAQs for voters exercising their right this Lok Sabha elections. Pic: Wikimedia Commons/ Nilanjan Chowdhury (CC BY:SA 2.0)

Controversy over the timing of release of a biopic on the head of government, ‘main bhi chowkidar’ caps found on vehicles of election commission vehicles, repeated instances of hate speech and communal references by leaders of contesting parties — the number of violations of the ‘Model Code of Conduct’ ahead of elections has been quite mindboggling in these elections. But what is this ‘code’, really and what happens if parties or individuals decide to just flout the rules?

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The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is a set of guidelines defining the dos and don’ts for the political parties and candidates during elections. The main purpose of this is to provide a level playing field for all candidates contesting the elections and to bring decency and consistency to the chaotic election process. The surprising thing is that the idea of MCC came from the political parties, themselves.

The MCC comes into effect as soon as the election dates are declared by the ECI. It remains in place until the election results are declared. However, it is not a statutory document. It just provides a guideline for free and fair elections.

Watch the video below to know more about the areas of electoral misconduct covered by the MCC. Some of the questions answered are:

  • What are the basic guidelines of the MCC?
  • Can parties and candidates create hatred between communities?
  • In case of meetings and processions, do political parties have to take permission for loudspeakers and microphones?
  • What are the rules regarding conduct of polling at the booth on the day of the election? Can anyone and everyone enter the polling booth?
  • Are there guidelines in the MCC regulating social media campaigns?

[This video series is produced by Factly as a part of the YouTube GNI Innovation Funding and has been republished here with permission.]


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About Rakesh Dubbudu 7 Articles
Rakesh Dubbudu is the founder of Factly. He has been working on issues related to Right to Information (RTI) for a decade. He is a data/information enthusiast & passionate about governance/policy issues.