EC withdraws Model Code of Conduct

The Election Commission has withdrawn the Model Code of Conduct, in force for over two months, during which the panel took several major decisions, including giving the nod to the government to appoint the next Navy and Army chiefs and asking it to defer notifying doubling of prices of natural gas.

New Delhi: The Election Commission has withdrawn the Model Code of Conduct, in force for over two months, during which the panel took several major decisions, including giving the nod to the government to appoint the next Navy and Army chiefs and asking it to defer notifying doubling of prices of natural gas.

The poll panel today informed the government that the operation of the Model Code, which came into force on March 5 with the announcement of the Lok Sabha schedule, has ended after the Commission notified the names of winning candidates yesterday.

During the period of the Model Code, the EC also allowed the Reserve Bank of India to issue licences for setting up new banks.

The EC also ruled that no changes in power tariff should be announced till the completion of polling in a particular state.

The Model Code of Conduct is an instrument to give candidates from various political parties a level playing field in campaigning as it stops governments in power at the Centre as well as in states to use official machinery to garner votes.

It is also a means to ensure that candidates do no use hate speeches and other means to polarise voters.
The EC made it clear that the Model Code of Conduct is not applicable to any matter relating "directly" to the armed forces, including promotion, recruitment or purchase.
It said its latest order shall be treated as standing instructions of the Commission and will be "applicable for all elections in future".

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