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ECI warns parties: Don’t use places of worship for poll propaganda, refrain from caste-based appeals | DETAILS

The Election Commission of India warned the political parties that the candidates or star campaigners will face stern action for violating the MCC. The ECI asked the parties to refrain from seeking votes on the basis of caste, religion and language.

Ashesh Mallick Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 New Delhi Published on: March 01, 2024 20:56 IST
Election Commission of India, Rajiv Kumar, ECI warns parties, Lok Sabha elections 2024
Image Source : PTI Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar

The Election Commission on Friday (March 1) issued an advisory to the political parties asking them to refrain from using temples, mosques, churches, gurdwaras or any other place of worship for poll propaganda or electioneering, and not to seek votes on the basis of caste, religion and language. The major stringent remarks came as the election campaign by the political parties is starting to peak ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The Commission also instructed the parties not to insult the devotee-deity relation or make any suggestion of a divine censure.

ECI's stern warning

The ECI issued the warning to the candidates and star campaigners that they will face a stern action, rather than just 'moral censure' as is the practice, for any violation of Model Code of Conduct.

Notably, the Model Code of Conduct will be put in place after the announcement of dates for the Lok Sabha elections. The announcement of dates is likely anytime this month.

The poll authority has issued advisories to parties in the past too, but the latest one comes ahead of the parliamentary elections.

The ECI said that the star campaigners and candidates, who have received notices in the past, will face strict action for repeat violation of model code.

What did CEC Rajiv Kumar say?

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar had recently emphasised that political parties should foster ethical and respectful discourse which inspire rather than divide, promote ideas instead of personal attacks.

“The Commission's advisory has now formally set the stage for ethical political discourse and cut the clutter in 2024 General Elections,” an official said.

It cautioned that all phases and geographical areas of elections will be the basis to determine "repeat" offences of the poll code and its advisory.

The ECI warned the political parties to maintain decorum in public campaigning and also put additional responsibility on the candidates and star campaigners who were earlier served notices in the past.

Hold issue-based debate: ECI

It asked the parties to raise the level of election campaign to issue-based debate and said the parties and their leaders should not make statements without factual basis or mislead the voters.

The advisory also covered social media engagements, saying posts vilifying or insulting rivals, posts that are in bad taste or below dignity should not to made or shared.

The EC asked political parties and candidates to refrain from any deeds or action or utterances that may be construed as being repugnant to the honour and dignity of women.

ECI on “misleading advertisements”

In a note of caution to parties, candidates and star campaigners, it asked them to refrain from giving unverified and misleading advertisements in the media.

It also said advertisements masquerading as news items should also not be issued.

(With PTI inputs)

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