• With the announcement of elections to the 17th Lok Sabha, the Model Code of Conduct has come into effect immediately.
• The MCC is a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission (EC) to regulate political parties and candidates prior to elections. Basically, the code spells out the do’s and don’ts for elections.
• This is in keeping with Article 324 of the Constitution, which mandates EC to conduct free and fair elections to the Parliament and State Legislatures.
• It is not statutory but Political Parties, Candidates and Polling Agents are expected to observe the norms, on matters ranging from the content of election manifestos, speeches and processions, to general conduct etc.
• The code comes into force on the announcement of the poll schedule and remains operational till the process is concluded.
• The EC has devised several mechanisms to take note of the violation of the code, which include joint task forces of enforcement agencies and flying squads. The latest is the introduction of the cVIGIL mobile app through which audio-visual evidence of malpractices can be reported.
About cVIGIL App
• The cVIGIL App provides time-stamped, evidence-based proof of the Model Code of Conduct / Expenditure Violation, having live photo/video with auto location data.
• Any citizen can lodge a complaint through the Mobile App. Flying Squads will then investigate the matter and the Returning Officer takes the decision.
• The status of cVIGIL can be shared with the cVIGIL complainant within a specified time limit.
Mains Paper 2: Polity
Prelims level: Model Code of Conduct
Mains level: Read the story