Consequent upon the announcement of the schedule for the General Election to the Nagaland Legislative Assembly — 2023 by the Election Commission of India (ECI) on 18th of January 2023, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) has come into force in the entire State of Nagaland.
Attention of all citizens is drawn towards some important guidelines of the ECI pertaining to MCC and Election Expenditure Monitoring (EEM) for information and compliance.
- Defacement of property :
There should not be any defacement of government property, offices and premises and all wall writing, posters/ papers or defacement in any form, cutout/ hoardings, banners, flags etc. on Government property should be immediately removed.
All unauthorized political advertisement in the form of wall writing/posters/papers banners cut out, flag at public spaces like Railway Station, Bus Stand, Airport, Roadways, Government Buses Electric/Telephone Post, Municipal/ Local Bodies Building should be removed.
All unauthorized political advertisements at private property should also be removed.
- Misuse of official vehicles :
There is a total ban on use of official vehicles by any political party, candidate or agent for campaigning, electioneering or election related travel during elections.
The expression official vehicles include truck, lorries, tempos, jeeps, cars, auto rickshaws, e-rickshaws, buses belonging to central govt., state govt. public undertakings, local bodies, municipal corporations marketing ports cooperative societies or any other body in which public funds are invested.
- Misuse of Government Dak Bungalows/ Rest Houses:
Rest Houses, Dak Bungalows or other Guest Houses of the Government should not be used for carrying out any political activity, meetings etc.
- Regarding Schemes/ Projects:
No new government Scheme/ Project should be announced and those already approved also should not be started if work on it has not commenced yet.
- Electoral offences and corrupt practices:
The offering and accepting/receiving of bribe/gratification by any person is both an electoral offence and corrupt practice.
Whoever voluntarily interferes or attempt to interfere with the free exercise of any electoral right commits the offence of undue at an election.
Whoever votes at an election in the name of any other person commits the offence of personation at an election.
Booth capturing and preventing others from free exercise of their right to vote by any person is an electoral offence.
Any promotion or attempt to promote feelings of enmity or hatred on the ground of religion, race, caste, community, or language by any candidate or his election agent is an electoral offence and corrupt practice under the law.
- Types of expenditure:
Allowed under the law of electioneering, subject within the permissible limit — public meetings, public rallies, posters, banners, vehicles, advertisements in print and electronic media.
Not permitted under law — distribution of money, liquor or any items to the electors with intent to influence.
Another form of expenditure in recent times is on Surrogate Advertisements, Paid News etc.
- Pre-Certification of Political Advertisements:
Media Certification and Monitoring Committee at State level and District levels have been formed and all the political parties/candidates should approach these committees, as the case may be, for pre certification of all type of political advertisements proposed to be issued in electronic or print media.
- Mechanism for monitoring Election Expenditure:
Video Surveillance Team, Video Viewing Team, Accounting Team, Flying Squad & Static Surveillance Team to be supervised by the Expenditure Observer.
- Restrictions on the printing of pamphlets, posters etc:
As per Section 127 A of the RP Act, 1951, no person shall print or publish, or cause to be printed or published, any election pamphlet or poster which does not bear on its face the names and addresses of the printer and the publisher thereof.
Printing other documents for the purpose of section 127A includes any advertisement inserted in the news paper and “Paid News” published in any news paper.
- Restriction on carrying cash:
During checking, if any cash exceeding Rs. 50,000/- is found in a vehicle carrying a candidate, his agent, or party worker or carrying posters or election materials or any drugs, liquor, arms or gifts items which are valued at more than Rs. 10,000/- likely to be used for inducement of electors or any other illicit articles are found in a vehicle, shall be subject to seizure.
Citizens carrying cash more than Rs. 50,000/- are advised to carry relevant documents to substantiate the source and purpose of the money.
- Monitoring by Banks and Income Tax Department:
Banks are to report daily to the DEO on suspicious withdrawal of cash from bank account of any individuals.
- Complaint Monitoring System:
Toll free number 1950 in the CEO office is available for any complaint by calling or by SMS or may be email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The districts control room is also available for any complaint or grievances 24×7 at the given number.
For further query, please visit eci.nic.in/ ceonagaland.nic.in
(V Shashank Shekhar), IAS, Chief Electoral