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Election Commission Issues Advisory to Elevate Political Campaign Discourse

Election Commission Issues Advisory to Elevate Political Campaign Discourse


New Delhi:  Responding to the alarming decline in the quality of political campaign discourse witnessed in recent elections, the Election Commission of India has issued a stern advisory to all political parties. The directive calls for a significant improvement in the decorum of public campaigning, urging parties to shift the focus to issue-based debates.

The Commission has also placed Star Campaigners and candidates on notice, emphasizing that any violations will be scrutinized meticulously. This move is in line with the Election Commission’s commitment to maintaining the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) during elections and ensuring a fair and ethical electoral process.

The advisory outlines that the Election Commission will assess both direct and indirect MCC violations as per the issued guidelines. Repeat offenses, especially during the upcoming General Election to Lok Sabha and General Election to four State Legislative Assemblies, will be subject to heightened scrutiny across all phases and geographical areas.

Acknowledging the delicate balance between freedom of expression and a level playing field, the advisory notes the Election Commission’s self-restrained approach in previous elections. The Commission has aimed to use notices as a moral censure, crafting orders that minimize disruption to campaign activities while addressing the need for improved discourse.

The advisory also recognizes the evolving landscape of information technology and social media, highlighting the challenges posed by the persistent circulation of content throughout different phases of campaigning and unrelated elections. The Election Commission urges political parties, their leaders, and candidates to remain within the boundaries of the Model Code of Conduct and the legal framework.

The Commission has emphasized that any surrogate or indirect violations of the MCC, along with attempts to lower the level of election campaigns, will be met with stern action. Political party leaders designated as “star campaigners” are reminded of their responsibility to uphold the highest ethical standards during election campaigns, aligning with both the MCC and statutory provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

As India gears up for crucial elections, the Election Commission’s advisory serves as a pivotal reminder of the importance of maintaining integrity, ethical conduct, and a focus on substantive issues in the political arena.

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