ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA
MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT FOR THE GUIDANCE OF THE POLITICAL
PARTIES AND CANDIDATES
1. General Conduct
(1) No party or candidate shall indulge in any activity
which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or
cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or
(2) Criticism of other political parties , when made, shall be confined
to their policies and programme, past record and work. Parties and Candidates
shall refrain from criticism of all aspects of private life, not connected
with the public activities of the leaders or workers of other parties.
Criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations
or distortion shall be avoided.
(3) There shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing
votes. Mosques, Churches, Temples or other places of worship shall not
be used as forum for election propaganda.
(4) All parties and candidates shall avoid scrupulously all activities
which are “corrupt practices” and offences under the election law, such
as bribing of voters, intimidation of voters, impersonation of voters,
canvassing within 100 metres of polling stations, holding public meetings
during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for the close
of the poll, and the transport and conveyance of voters to and from
(5) The right of every individual for peaceful and undisturbed home-life
shall be respected, however much the political parties or candidates
may resent his political opinions or activities. Organising demonstrations
or picketing before the houses of individuals by way of protesting against
their opinions or activities shall not be resorted to under any circumstances.
(6) No Political Party or candidate shall permit its or his followers
to make use of any individual’s land, building, compound wall etc.,
without his permission , for erecting flag-staffs, suspending banners,
pasting notices, writing slogans etc.
(7) Political parties and candidates shall ensure that their supporters
do not create obstructions in or break up meetings and processions organised
by other parties. Workers or sympathisers of one political party shall
not create disturbances at public meetings organised by another political
party by putting questions orally or in writing or by distributing leaflets
of their own party. Processions shall not be taken out by one party
along places at which meetings are being held by another party. Posters
issued by one party shall not be removed by workers of another Party.
(1) The Party or candidate shall inform the local police authorities
of the venue and time any proposed meeting well in time so as to enable
the police to make necessary arrangements for controlling traffic and
maintaining peace and order.
(2) A Party or candidate shall ascertain in advance if there are any
restrictive or prohibitory orders in force in the place proposed for
the meeting. If such orders exist, they shall be followed strictly.
If any exemption is required from such orders it shall be applied for
and obtained well in time.
(3) If permission or licence is to be obtained for the use of loudspeakers
or any other facility in connection with any proposed meeting, the Party
or candidate shall apply to the authority concerned well in advance
and obtain such permission or licence.
(4) Organisers of a meeting shall invariably seek the assistance of
the police on duty for dealing with persons disturbing a meeting or
otherwise attempting to create disorder. Organisers themselves shall
not take action against such persons.
(1) A Party or candidate organising a procession shall decide beforehand
the time and place of the starting of the procession, the route to be
followed and the time and place at which the procession will terminate.
There shall ordinarily be no deviation from the programme.
(2) The organisers shall give advance intimation to the local police
authorities of the programme so as to enable the latter to make necessary
(3) The organisers shall ascertain if any restrictive orders are in
force in the localities through which the procession has to pass, and
shall comply with the restrictions unless exempted specially by the
competent authority. Any traffic regulations or restrictions shall also
be carefully adhered to.
(4) The organisers shall take steps in advance to arrange for passage
of the procession so that there is no block or hindrance to traffic.
If the procession is very long, it shall be organised in segments of
suitable lengths, so that at convenient intervals, especially at points
procession has to pass road junctions, the passage of held up traffic
could be allowed by stages thus avoiding heavy traffic congestion.
(5) Processions shall be so regulated as to keep as much to the right
of the road as possible and the direction and advice of the police on
duty shall be strictly complied with.
(6) If two or more political parties or candidates propose to take
processions over the same route or parts thereof at about the same time,
the organisers shall establish contact well in advance and decide upon
the measures to be taken to see that the processions do not clash or
cause hindrance to traffic. The assistance of the local police shall
be availed of for arriving at a satisfactory arrangement. For this purpose
the parties shall contact the police at the earliest opportunity.
(7) The political parties or candidates shall exercise control to the
maximum extent possible in the matter of processionists carrying articles
which may be put to misuse by undesirable elements especially in moments
(8) The carrying of effigies purporting to represent members of other
political parties or their leaders, burning such effigies in public
and such other forms demonstration shall not be countenanced by any
political party or candidate.
IV. Polling Day
All political parties and candidates shall –
(i) co-operate with the officers on election duty to ensure peaceful
and orderly polling and complete freedom to the voters to exercise their
franchise without being subjected to any annoyance or obstruction.
(ii) supply to their authorised workers suitable badges or identity
(iii) agree that the identity slips supplied by them to voters shall
be on plain (white) paper and shall not contain any symbol, name of
the candidate or the name of the Party;
(iv) refrain from serving or distributing liquor on polling day and
during the twenty-four hours preceding it;
(v) not allow unnecessary crowd to be collected near the camps set up
by the political parties and candidates near the polling booths so as
to avoid confrontation and tension among workers and sympathisers of
the parties and the candidate;
(vi) ensure that the candidate’s camps shall be simple. They shall not
display any posters, flags, symbols or any other propaganda material.
No eatables shall be served or crowd allowed at the camps; and
(vii) co-operate with the authorities in complying with the restrictions
to be imposed on the plying of vehicles on the polling day and obtain
permits for them which should be displayed prominently on those vehicles.
V. Polling Booth:
Excepting the voters , no one without a valid pass from the Election
Commission shall enter the polling booths.
The Election Commission is appointing Observers. If the candidates or
their agents have any specific complaint or problem regarding the conduct
of elections they may bring the same to the notice of the Observer.
VII Party in power
The Party in power whether at the Centre or in the State or States concerned
, shall ensure that no cause is given for any complaint that it has
used its official position for the purposes of its election campaign
and in particular –
(i) (a) 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;
(b) Government transport including official air-crafts, vehicles, machinery
and personnel shall not be used for furtherance of the interest of the
party in power;
(ii) Public places such as maidans etc., for holding election meetings
,and use of helipads for air-flights in connection with elections shall
not be monopolised by itself. Other parties and candidates shall be
allowed the use of such places and facilities on the same terms and
conditions on which they are used by the party in power;
(iii) Rest houses, dak bungalows or other Government accommodation shall
not be monopolised by the party in power or its candidates and such
accommodation shall be allowed to be used by other parties and candidates
in a fair manner but no party or candidates shall use or be allowed
to use such accommodation (including premises appertaining thereto)
as a campaign office or for holding any public meeting for the purposes
of election propaganda;
(iv) Issue of advertisement at the cost of public exchequer in the newspapers
and other media and the misuse of official mass media during the election
period for partisan coverage of political news and publicity regarding
achievements with a view to furthering the prospects of the party in
power shall be scrupulously avoided.
(v) Ministers and other authorities shall not sanction grants/payments
out of discretionary funds from the time elections are announced by
the Commission; and
(vi) From the time elections are announced by the Commission, Ministers
and other authorities shall not –
(a) announce any financial grants in any form or promises thereof; or
(b) (except civil servants) lay foundation stones etc. of projects or
schemes of any kind; or
(c) make any promise of construction of roads, provision of drinking
water facilities etc.; or
(d) make any ad-hoc appointments in Government, Public Undertakings
etc. which may have the effect of influencing the voters in favour of
the party in power.
Note : The Commission shall announce the date of any election which
shall be a date ordinarily not more than three weeks prior to the date
on which the notification is likely to be issued in respect of such
(vii) ministers of Central or State Government shall not enter any polling
station or place of counting except in their capacity as a candidate
or voter or authorised agent.