NEW DELHI: The Election Commission will on Saturday announce the dates for the upcoming elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram. The poll body may also announce the dates for elections in Telangana where the assembly was dissolved last month.
With the poll body announcing the dates, the model code of conduct will come into place with immediate effect. The EC had recently ruled that the poll code will come into force immediately in the states where the legislative assemblies are dissolved prematurely. The caretaker government will not be able to announce any new schemes until a new government is formed.
Under the poll code, no party or candidate shall include in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic. "Criticism of other political parties, when made, shall be confined to their policies and programme, past record and work. Parties and Candidates shall refrain from criticism of all aspects of private life, not connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers of other parties. Criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations or distortion shall be avoided," the code of conduct states.
Ahead of the elections, the party or candidate will have to inform the local police authorities of the venue and time any proposed meeting well in time so as to enable the police to make necessary arrangements for controlling traffic and maintaining peace and order. The party or candidate will have to ascertain in advance if there is any restrictive or prohibitory order in force in the place proposed for the meeting if such orders exist, they shall be followed strictly. If any exemption is required from such orders, it shall be applied for and obtained well in time.
On the polling day, all political parties and candidates should co-operate with the officers on duty to ensure peaceful and orderly polling and complete freedom to the voters to exercise their franchise without being subjected to any annoyance or obstruction. The political parties should also supply badges or identity cards to their authorised workers. The identity slip supplied by parties to voters must be on plain (white) paper and shall not contain any symbol, name of the candidate or the name of the party. Parties should also refrain from serving or distributing liquor on polling day and during the 48 hours preceding it. The EC will not allow unnecessary crowd to be collected near the camps set up by the political parties and candidates near the polling booths so as to avoid confrontation and tension among workers of the parties and the candidate.