New Delhi: The Election Commission has found that some politicians sidestep provisions of the model code while raking up religious issues and has written to political parties in this regard. The poll panel has pointed out that during by-elections, political functionaries tend to issue appeals on religious or communal grounds in areas not covered under the provisions of the model code. And by doing so, they seek to avoid violating its provisions.
“This has… far reaching implications as it would certainly influence the minds of electors of the assembly or parliamentary constituency where the by-election is going on and, thus vitiate the free and fair elections in that constituency,” the poll watchdog has written to leaders of all recognised national and state parties.
It has now requested political parties to advise their leaders and cadres to “refrain from making such appeals as intend to disturb the peace and tranquillity of the society”.
In its June 29 letter, the commission said such statements should not be made at any time throughout the country. It said special care must be taken on the use of words even in the areas where model code is not in force “so that the purity of election process is maintained and no ill feeling is generated among the general public which is essential for conducive atmosphere for conducting free, fair and peaceful elections”.
The Model Code of Conduct is a set of norms which has been evolved with the consensus of political parties who have consented to abide by the principles embodied in it. During by-polls, the code is applicable in the entire district in which the constituency falls.