BHUBANESWAR: Announcement of the three-tier panchayat polls is likely to be made next week and the model code of conduct will be in force in all probability from December 27. Going a step ahead towards preparing for the rural elections, the State Election Commission (SEC) has prescribed the model code of conduct for political parties and candidates.
The SEC on Sunday informed that the model code of conduct will remain in force from the date of notification for the elections till the counting of votes is over. Sources said that the SEC will convene the all-party meeting within the next couple of days after which, the elections will be announced.
The model code of conduct comes into force the day the election is announced. However, for panchayat polls this time, announcement and notification is likely to be done simultaneously. The model code of conduct issued by the SEC does not contain any guidelines taking into account the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions on campaigning, public meetings or other modes of campaign.
As per the model code, the parties and candidates will refrain from resorting to character assassination of their rivals by referring to their private life during the campaign. The criticism should be confined to policies and programmes of all contestants in the elections, it added.
The SEC warned that any criticism based on unverified allegations or distortion will be considered as violation of the model code of conduct and viewed with a serious note. Besides, political parties or candidates should refrain from alluring the voters in any form.
The code also stated that election meetings or campaigns would not be allowed in any religious and government institutions. Permission for public meetings, processions and rallies will be given to political parties and candidates on a first come, first serve basis.
There will be no campaigning from 8 pm to 7 am and the campaign with a public address system will come to an end 36 hours before the election date. Elections will have to be held by March 2022 since the term of all the panchayatiraj institutions will be over by that time.
According to an earlier notification, polling will be held for 853 Zilla Parishads with party symbols and for 91,916 wards and 6,794 panchayats on non-party basis.
- Candidates cannot resort to character assassination of their rivals by referring to their private life
- Criticism should be confined to policies, programmes of all contestants
- Criticism based on unverified allegations or distortion will be considered as violation of the model code of conduct