Refrain From Using Places Of Worship For Campaign Propaganda: EC To Political Parties
On March 19, Election Commission asked political parties and religious leaders to refrain from using places of worship for campaign propaganda. EC also asked them not to indulge in activities that may cause tension between castes and communities.
On March 11, EC had warned parties in Kerala against using the Sabarimala temple row in campaigning.
Avoid usage of places of worship for propaganda: EC
Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer said in a statement, “As per the Model Code of Conduct, the use of caste and religion during the election campaign is strictly prohibited.”
The EC further said that parties and religious leaders should refrain from indulging in any activity that could “aggravate existing differences or cause tension between different caste or communities, religious or linguistic.”
A similar advisory was issued by EC to political parties in Kerala to avoid using the Sabarimala temple row in their campaigns. It said that invoking religious propaganda on this issue would be a clear violation of the model code of conduct.
Earlier, EC had asked parties to not use pictures of armed force personnel in their campaign material. “Parties/candidates are advised that their campaigners/candidates should desist, as part of their election campaigning, from indulging in any political propaganda involving activities of defence forces,” said the advisory.
This advisory came after several complaints were received by EC over the use of armed forces against the backdrop of Pulwama attack and the subsequent air strike by the Indian Air Force, for political gains.
Model Code of Conduct
The Model Code Of Conduct is a set of guidelines which regulate political parties and its candidates to ensure free and fair polls. The Election Commission derives its powers from Article 324 of the Constitution which allows it to monitor the central and state governments as well as the political parties and their candidates.
The MCC provisions deal with a myriad of issues ranging from speeches, management of elections, polling booths, portfolios, the content of election manifestos, among others.