What do you understand by model code of conduct? Explain the purpose behind having a model code of conduct in India.

Model Answer

The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission to regulate conduct of political parties and candidates during the election campaign. It is evolved by the Election Commission on the basis of consensus among political parties.

The model code of conduct is operational from the date on which election schedule is announced until the date of results.

Purpose behind MCC

  1. Maintain election campaign on healthy lines.

 E.g Activities such as using caste and communal feelings to secure votes are not well permitted.

  1. Avoid clashes and conflicts between political parties or their supporters.
  2. Ensure peace and order during the campaign period and thereafter, until the results are declared.
  3. Prescribe guidelines for the ruling party to ensure that a level playing field is maintained.

 E.g Ensuring ruling party does not use its official position for election campaign.

E.g. Advertising at the cost of public exchequer or using official mass media for publicity.

  1. No announcements of financial grants or projects to secure votes during election campaign.

Thus MCC tries to maintain level playing field and elections on policy issues than overtly political issues. Although it does not have a legal backing, it has acquired strength in the recent past because of its strict enforcement by the Election Commission.

Subjects : Polity