Frequently Asked Questions: Model Code of Conduct

  1. ERoll & EPIC
  2. Model Code Of Conduct
  3. EVM

Q.1  What is the Model Code of Conduct?

Ans.  The Model Code of Conduct for guidance of political parties andcandidates is a set of norms which has been evolved with theconsensus of political parties who have consented to abide by the principles embodied in the said code and also binds them torespect and observe it in its letter and spirit.

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Q.2  What is the role of Election Commission in the matter?

Ans.  The Election Commission ensures its observance by political party(ies) in power, including ruling parties at the Centre and in the States and contesting candidates in the discharge of its constitutional duties for conducting the free, fair and peaceful lections to the Parliament and the State Legislatures under Article 324 of the Constitution of India. It is also ensured that official machinery for the electoral purposes is not misused. urther, it is also ensured that electoral offences, malpractices and corrupt practices such as impersonation, bribing and inducement of voters, threat and intimidation to the voters are prevented by all means. In case of violation, appropriate measures are taken.

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Q.3  From which date the Model Code of Conduct is enforced and operational upto which date?

Ans.  The Model Code of Conduct is enforced from the date of announcement of election schedule by the Election Commission and is operational till the process of elections are completed.

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Q.4  What is applicability of code during general elections and bye-elections?

Ans.  a. During general elections to House of People (LokSabha), the code is applicable throughout thecountry.
b. During general elections to the Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha), the code is applicable in the entire State.
c. During bye-elections, the code is applicable in the entire district or districts in which the constituency falls.

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Q.5  What are the salient features of the Model Code of Conduct?

Ans.  The salient features of the Model Code of Conduct lay down how political parties, contesting candidates and party(s) in power should conduct themselves during the process of elections i.e. on their general conduct during electioneering, holding meetings and processions, poll day activities and functioning of the party in power etc.

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ON OFFICIAL MACHINERY

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Q.6  Whether a Minister can combine his official visit with electioneering work?

Ans.  No
The Ministers shall not combine their official visit with electioneering work and shall not also make use of official machinery or personnel during the electioneering work.

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Q.7  Whether Govt. transport can be used for electioneering work?

Ans.  No
No transport including official air-crafts, vehicles etc. shall be used for furtherance of the interest of any party or a candidate.

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Q.8  Whether Govt. can make transfers and postings of officialswho are related to election work?

Ans.  There shall be a total ban on the transfer and posting of all officers/officials directly or indirectly connected with the conduct of the election. If any transfer or posting of an officer is considered necessary, prior approval of the Commission shall be obtained.

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Q.9  Suppose an officer related to election work has been transferred by the Govt. before enforcement of model code of conduct and has not taken over charge at new place. Can such officer take over charge of office at new place after announcement of the code?

Ans.  No
Status-quo-ante shall be maintained.

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Q.10  Whether a Minister of Union or State can summon any election related officer of the constituency or the State for any official discussion during the period of elections?

Ans.  No Minister, whether of Union or State, can summon any election related officer of the constituency or the State for any official discussions anywhere.If Union Minister is traveling out of Delhi on purely official business, which cannot be avoided in public interest, then a letter certifying to this effect should be sent from the concerned Secretary of the Ministry/Department to the Chief Secretary of the concerned State, with a copy to the Election Commission.

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Q.11  Can an official meet the minister on his private visit to the Constituency where elections are being held?

Ans.  No
Any official who meets the Minister on his private visit to the constituency shall be guilty of misconduct under the relevant service rules; and if he happens to be an official mentioned in Section 129 (1) of the Representation of People Act, 1951, he shall also be additionally considered to have violated the statutory provisions of that Section and liable to penal action provided thereunder.

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Q.12  Whether Ministers are entitled for official vehicle during the election?

Ans.  Ministers are entitled to use their official vehicles only for commuting from their official residence to their office for official work provided that such commuting is not combined with any electioneering or any political activity.

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Q.13  Whether Ministers or any other political functionaries can use pilot car with beacon lights affixed with siren?

Ans.  Minister or any other political functionary is not allowed during election period, to use pilot car or car with beacon lights of any colour or car affixed with sirens of any kind whether on private or official visit, even if the State administration has granted him a security cover requiring presence of armed guards to accompany him on such visit. This prohibition is applicable whether the vehicle is government owned or private owned.

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Q.14  Suppose there is a visit of President / Vice President at any place in the State. Is a Minister allowed to use VIP Car with other protocol?

Ans.  Yes
The Minister may leave with VIP car and other protocol from his headquarters to the place of visit of President/ Vice President and return to his headquarters without attending any other function/meeting with any other political functionary. This restriction shall be applicable from the time he leaves the Headquarters and till he reaches back the headquarters.

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Q.15  Suppose a vehicle has been provided to Minister by the State and the Minister is given an allowance for maintenance of such vehicle. Can it be used by the Minister for election purposes?

Ans.  Where a vehicle is provided by the State or the Minister is given an allowance for maintenance of the vehicle, he cannot use such vehicle for election.

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Q.16  Whether facility of official vehicles can be withdrawn from those ministers who violate the provisions of Model Code of conduct?

Ans.  Yes
The Chief Electoral Officer shall also recover the cost of propulsion from the ministers who may misuse their official position.

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Q.17  Whether there is any restriction or visits of members of National Commission for Schedule Castes or any other similar National/State Commissions?

Ans.  It is advised that all official visits of Members of such Commissions shall be deferred, unless any such visit becomes unavoidable in an emergent situation, till the completion of election exercise to avoid any misunderstanding that may arise in any quarters.

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Q.18 Whether members of Finance Commission of Govt. of India can visit State(s)?

Ans.  Yes
Provided neither the press briefings nor press notes would be issued, highlighting the achievements of the State or otherwise.

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Q.19 Whether Chief Minister and other Ministers can attend New Year Day function (of the State), which is a State function?

Ans.  No
Only Chief Secretary and other officials may participate and no political person including Chief Minister or Minister may participate in such function where Govt. funds are used.

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Q.20 Whether a Chief Minister/Minister/Speaker can attend a“State Day” function of a State?

Ans.  There is no objection provided that he does not make any political speech on the occasion and the function is to be conducted only by Govt. officials. No advertisement depicting the photograph of Chief Minister/Minister/Speaker shall be released.

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Q.21 Whether Governor/Chief Minister/Ministers can participate and address the Convocation function of University or Institute?

Ans.  Governor may participate and address the Convocation. Chief Minister or Ministers may be advised not to participate and address the Convocation.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Q.22 Whether “Iftar Party” or any other similar party can be hosted at the residence of political functionaries, the expenses of which will be borne by State exchequer?

Ans.  No
However any individual is free by to host any such party in his personal capacity and at his personal expense.

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Q.23 Is there any restriction on address of Governor in the Assembly Session (budget)?

Ans.  No

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ON WELFARE SCHEMES, GOVERNMENT WORKS ETC.

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Q.24 Is there any restriction on issue of advertisement at the cost of public exchequer regarding achievements with a view to furthering the prospects of the party in power?

Ans.  Yes
The advertisement regarding achievements of the party at the cost of public exchequer in the print and electronic media and the misuse of official mass media during the period of election is prohibited.

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Q.25 Whether hoardings/advertisements etc. depicting the achievements of the party(s) in power at Centre/State Governments at the cost of public exchequer can be
continued?

Ans.  No
All such hoardings, advertisements etc. on display shall be removed forthwith by the concerned authorities. Further, no advertisements should be issued in the newspapers and other media including electronic media at the cost of public exchequer.

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Q.26 Whether a Minister or any other authority can sanction grants/ payments out of discretionary funds?

Ans.  No
Ministers and other authorities shall not sanction grants/payments out of discretionary funds from the time elections are announced.

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Q.27 Whether money can be withdrawn from treasury against the sanctioned amount from the discretionary funds of Ministers to prepare draft in the names of beneficiaries which may be disbursed after process of election is completed?

Ans.  The funds may either be kept in “Personal Ledger Account” of the concerned Department or the release may be deferred till the completion of elections.

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Q.28 Suppose work order has been issued in respect of a scheme or a programme. Can it be started after announcement of election programme?

Ans.  Work shall not be started in respect of which work order has been issued before announcement of election but the work has actually not started in the field. If a work has actually started in the field that can be continued.

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Q.29 Whether fresh release of funds under MPs/MLAs/MLCs Local Area Development Fund of any scheme can be made?

Ans.  No
Fresh release of funds under MPs/MLAs/MLCs Local Area Development Fund of any scheme shall not be made in any area where election is in progress, till the completion of the election process.

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Q.30 There are various rural development programmes/ schemes of Central government like Indira Awas Yojana, Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana, Swaranjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana, National Food for Work programme, National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. Are there any guidelines for implementation of these schemes/programmes?

Ans. Yes
Following guidelines shall be followed in respect of each scheme/programme as enumerated below:-
(a) Indira Awas Yojana (IAY)
Beneficiaries, who have been sanctioned housing scheme under IAY and have started work, will be assisted as per norms. No new constructions will be taken up or fresh beneficiaries sanctioned assistance till the elections are over.
(b) ) Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY)
Continuing works in progress may be continued and funds earmarked for such works can be released. In case of any Panchayat where all ongoing works have been completed and there is a requirement for taking up new wage employment works and where funds released directly to the Panchayats from the Ministry of Rural Development are available, new works can be started from approved annual action plan for the current year with the prior consent of the District Election Officer. From other funds, no new works shall be started.
(c ) Swaranjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY)
Only those help groups which have received part of their subsidy/grant will be provided the balance installments. No fresh individual beneficiaries or SHGs will be given financial assistance till the elections are over.
(d ) National Food for Work Programme(NFWP)
There is no objection for continuance of old works and sanction of new works in those districts where no elections have been announced. In those districts where elections have been announced and are in progress, only those works may be undertaken that have already started physically on ground, provided outstanding advance given for implementation of such works at a given time shall not exceed the amount equivalent to work for 45 days.
(e) National Employment Rural Guarantee Act (NERGA)
The Ministry of Rural Development shall not increase the number of districts in which it is being implemented after announcement of elections. The job card holders will be provided employment in the ongoing work, if they demand work, after announcement of elections. In case no employment can be provided in ongoing works, the competent authority may start new work(s) from the shelf of projects that has been approved and inform the fact to concerned District Election Officer (DEO). No new work shall be started by the competent authority till such time employment can be given in ongoing works. In case no shelf of project is available or all works available on shelf have been exhausted, then the concerned competent authority shall make a reference to the Commission for approval through the concerned DEO. The competent authority shall also furnish a certificate to DEO to the effect that the new work has been sanctioned as no employment can be given to the job card holder in the ongoing work.

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Q.31 Whether a Minister or any other authority can announce any financial grants in any form or promises thereof or lay foundation stones etc. of projects or schemes of any kinds etc.?

Ans.  No
Ministers and other authorities shall not announce any financial grants in any form or promises thereof; or (except civil servants) lay foundation stones etc. of projects or schemes of any kind; or make any promise of construction of roads, provision of drinking water facilities etc. or make any ad-hoc appointments in Government, Public Undertakings etc. In such case, senior Govt. Officer may lay foundation stone etc. without involving any political functionary.

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Q.32 A budget provision has been made for a particular scheme or the scheme has been sanctioned earlier. Can such scheme be announced or inaugurated?

Ans.  No
Inauguration/announcement of such scheme is prohibited during election period.

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Q.33 Whether ongoing beneficiary scheme can be continued?

Ans.  No
The processing of beneficiary oriented scheme, even if ongoing, shall be suspended during election period. Further, no fresh release of funds on welfare schemes and works should be made.

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Q.34 Suppose work order has already been issued for a scheme. Can work be started in respect of such scheme?

Ans.  No
No work shall be started in respect of which even if work orders have already been issued, if the work has actually not started in the field. Work can start only after the completion of election process. However, if a work has actually started, that can be continued.

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Q.35 Is there any bar to release of payments for completed work?

Ans.  There shall be no bar to the release of payments for completed work subject to the full satisfaction of the concerned officials.

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Q.36 How the Govt. may meet the emergency situation or unforeseen calamities, when there are restrictions for announcing welfare measures?

Ans.  For tackling emergencies or unforeseen calamities like providing relief to people suffering from drought, floods, pestilences, other natural calamities or welfare measures for the aged, infirm etc., Govt. may do so after obtaining prior approval of the Commission and all ostentatious functions shall be strictly avoided and no
impression shall be given or allowed to be created that such welfare measures or relief and rehabilitation works are being undertaken by the Government in office with any ulterior motive.

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Q.37 Whether financial institutions funded, partially or wholly by the Governments can write off loans advanced to any individual, company, firm, etc.?

Ans.  No
The financial institutions funded, partially or wholly by the Governments shall not take recourse to writing off loans advanced to any individual, company, firm, etc. Also, financial limits of such institutions, while granting or extending loans, should not be enhanced by issuing of loans indiscriminately to beneficiaries.

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Q.38 Whether tenders, auctions etc. relating to matters such as liquor vends, Tendu leaves and other such cases can be processed?

Ans.  No
Processing of such cases should be deferred till the completion of election process in the concerned areas and the Govt. may make interim arrangements where unavoidably necessary.

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Q.39 Suppose contract for Toll Tax is expiring at the end of financial year (31st March of the year), for which auction date has already been proposed/advertised. Whether auction can be held for awarding the contract?

Ans.  Yes
Provided the contract is supervised by the Commissioner/Divisional Commissioner or some other senior District Officer directly answerable to the Commissioner/Divisional Commissioner and there is no change in the earlier policy or auction procedure.

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Q.40 Whether meeting of Municipal Corporation, Nagar Panchayat, Town Area Committee, etc. can be convened to review the revenue collection and preparing draft anuual budget etc?

Ans.  Yes
Provided that at such meetings only the matters of routine nature relating to day-to-day administration may be taken up and not the matters relating to its policies and programmes.

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Q.41 Whether function regarding “Stop TB” programme can be held which may be inaugurated by a political functionary and whether an advertisement on “World TB Day” can be released and published?

Ans.  There is no objection provided –
i. during the inauguration ceremony, no political speeches are made,
ii. no advertisement with photographs of PM and / or any Minister is issued, and
iii. advertisements and speeches are confined to the subject of combating and eradication of TB only.

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Q.42 Whether political functionaries can participate in the celebration of “Sadbhavna Diwas” which is celebrated through out the country?

Ans.  The Central Ministers / Chief Minister / Ministers in the States and other political functionaries can participate in the celebration of “Sadbhavna Diwas” subject to condition that the “theme” of their speeches should be confined only to the promotion of harmony among the people’ and no political speech should be made. Messages, if any, issued in the name of Minister should be confined to the theme of national integration only and should carry no photograph of the concerned Minister.

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Q.43 Whether State-level functions can be held for observance of Martyrdom of Martyrs which may be presided/attended to by Chief Minister / Minister?

Ans.  Yes
Provided that the speeches of the Chief Minister and other Ministers should restrict to the Martyrdom of the Martyrs and praising them. No political speech or speech enumerating or referring to the achievements of the Government or party in power should be made.

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Q.44 Whether birthday celebration of Shri Babu Jagjivan Ram and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar which falls on 5th April and 14th April respectively as a State function may be conducted?

Ans.  Yes
Provided it is not used as an occasion for political campaign or highlighting public achievements of the Govt. and also there is no ostentation and no political functionary addresses such meetings. The above restriction shall be equally applicable in all such other functions.

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Q.45 Whether Kavi Sammelan, Mushiaras or other cultural functions can be organized in connection with the Independence Day/Republic Day celebration and whether political functionaries can attend the same?

Ans.  Yes
The Central Ministers / Chief Minister / Ministers in the States and other political functionaries can attend the programme. However, it will be ensured that no political speeches highlighting the achievements of the party in power are made on the occasions.

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