Poll code comes into force today, save candidates


Mar 1, 2017-The Election Commission (EC) said on Tuesday that the code of conduct for local level elections set for May 14 will come into force starting Wednesday and that the poll code would be applicable to all except the candidates. 

The code of conduct will be applicable to the candidates only after they register their nominations on April 29, according to the EC. 

The code of conduct prohibits all concerned—the government, private institutions, political parties and non-government organisations—from carrying out activities that can influence the elections. 

The poll code will be applicable from Wednesday to ministers, local body staff, public office holders, government and semi-government offices and their staff, security agencies, security officials and staff employed for elections.

Following the implementation of the code of conduct, government ministers as well as persons holding public posts cannot engage in election campaigns. Neither the government nor public institutions and local bodies can declare, approve or start any new policy, plan and programme once the code of conduct comes into force.

The government will be barred from creating new posts and opening vacancies. Nor will it be allowed to award or extend facilities to officials. Transfers of officials must be put on hold.

As per the poll code, political parties can hold mass meetings and rallies from 8am to 7pm only. 

Political parties can receive donation, if the amount is more than Rs 5,000, through banks and financial institutions only. 

For the media, the code of conduct says they should “give equal opportunity to political parties and candidates”. “They should not carry out or cause to be carried out publication, broadcasting or dissemination of free or sponsored advertisements for election campaigns of a candidate or political party,” it says.

Election Commissioner Sudhir Shah said the EC would take strong action if any party is found violating the code of conduct. 

As per the Election Commission Act, those violating the code conduct will be liable to pay a fine up to Rs100,000.

Published: 01-03-2017 07:57

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