The Election Commission today warned political parties of "stern action" if they violate the Model Code of Conduct, saying it will not remain a "mute spectator".
In a letter addressed to office bearers of political parties, the poll panel reminded the parties that the Model Code of Conduct, that came in force on January 4 when elections in five states were announced, restricts leaders from making communal statements.
"...political parties and their leaders should desist from making statements to the effect of creating disharmony between different sections of society on the basis of religion as the same disturb the peace and tranquility of the society which is absolutely essential for free and peaceful conduct of elections," the letter said.
It also referred to Supreme Court judgments on the issue.A
"The Commission will not remain silent spectator if the provisions of law of MCC (model code of conduct) are violated and no one can do it with impunity.
"The Commission will take stern action for all violations under all powers available," the commission said.
It asked the political parties to issue advisories on this.
This comes on a day when a show cause notice was issued to BJP leader Sakshi Maharaj, who at a religious gathering on January 6 called for implementing the Uniform Civil Code and indirectly held the Muslims responsible for the population explosion.
The panel also said on Tuesday that with a view to timely disposal of clearances sought under Model Code of Conduct by various state governments, and to avoid "frivolous references" being sent to the Election Commission and Chief Electoral Officers, screening committee headed by Chief Secretary have been set up in each of five poll-bound states to examine each complaint before sending it to the Commission.
(With IANS inputs)