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Has Narendra Modi violated Model Code of Conduct?
At an election rally at Faizabad, Narendra Modi addressed people from a stage, where Lord Rama and his probable Rama temple were portrayed. The Congress was quick to blame Narendra Modi for violation of model code of conduct and spreading communal hatred. Even the Election Commission has sought video footages sue motto to examine the case.

I had gone through the entire speech of Modi. He on many occasions has invoked Lord Rama, but every time his comment was based on development, unemployment, incompetency of UPA government etc. He neither raised controversial Rama temple issue, nor said anything against Muslims or any other community. He finally sought lotus (party candidate) from Ram’s region.

Invoking lord Rama is never a communal thing, unless the name is used to insult any other community. As a neutral observer, I am confident that Modi at least in this rally didn’t attempt to do any such thing. Regarding the back ground picture, I think BJP should have avoided it. But if it’s an offence, the UP government is equally responsible.

Let’s see what Model Code of Conduct say on such meetings. (Source- Election Commission's website)

II. Meetings

(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 is any restrictive or

prohibitory order 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 license 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 license.

(4) Organizers 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. Organizers themselves shall not take action against such persons.

Thus every rally and its arrangements are permitted and approved by the local administration. Thus if the back-ground picture is unacceptable or objectionable, police has the authority to remove it!Thus the Congress/SP/BSP must read the real model code of conduct first and then they should give reactions. Such irresponsible comments indirectly create tension between communities as many people don’t know what exactly the model code of conduct is.

Again let us consider general conduct of Model Code of Conduct, (Source: EC's Website)

I. General Conduct

(1) No party or candidate shall include in any activity which may aggravate

existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes

and communities, religious or linguistic.

(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 meters 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

polling station.

(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. Organizing 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 organized by other parties.

Workers or sympathisers of one political party shall not create disturbances at public

meetings organized 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 held by another party. Posters issued by one

party shall not be removed by workers of another party.



The above guide line is self explanatory. I need not elaborate anything. I just conclude that Modi at least read those guidelines thoroughly and acted smartly, whereas all others simply ignored the code of conduct and indulged in personal attacks, dirty remarks, open appeal to various communities, castes etc.

Had EC been strict enough, starting from Sonia Gandhi to many top leaders including Imam Bukhari, Mulayam Singh, Mayawati would have been haunted by the law. Just one view on each point one would find many violators!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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