GS Paper II- Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

Remove PM’s photo from hoardings, EC tells official.

What’s Happening-
The Election Commission on Thursday wrote to the Cabinet Secretary, calling for removal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photograph from hoardings at petrol pumps in Goa and gas consumer certificates in Uttarakhand.

Reason / why to remove hoardings??

 

  • This is not permissible under the Model Code of Conduct or under the ECI instructions.
  • The Commission had said the posters that publicise achievements of political parties or their functionaries should be either removed or covered suitably in the poll-bound States.
  • Only those government hoardings with general messages on social welfare schemes & awareness campaigns are allowed.

Background-
The Commission had received a complaint that in Goa, hoardings with photographs of the Prime Minister were displayed at petrol pumps. The Commission had issued necessary directions on January 6.

What is model code of conduct?

  • Model Code of Conduct is a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India for conduct of political parties and candidates.
  • During elections mainly with respect to speeches, polling day, polling booths, election manifestos, processions and general conduct.
  • These set of norms has been evolved with the consensus of political parties who have consented to abide by the principles embodied in the said code in its letter and spirit.
  • The Model Code of Conduct comes into force immediately on announcement of the election schedule by the commission for the need of ensuring free and fair elections.
  •  Much of it is designed to avert communal clashes and corrupt practices.
  • For example, politicians should not make hate speeches, putting one community against another or make promises about new projects that may sway a voter.

The main points of the code are:

  • Government bodies are not to participate in any recruitment process during the electoral process.
  • The contesting candidates and their campaigners must respect the home life of their rivals and should not disturb them by holding road shows or demonstrations in front of their houses.
  • The election campaign rallies and road shows must not hinder the road traffic.
  • Candidates are asked to refrain from distributing liquor to voters.
  • The election code in force hinders the government or ruling party leaders from launching new welfare programmes like construction of roads, provision of drinking water facilities etc. or any ribbon-cutting ceremonies.