Model Code of Conduct reforms – Election Commission of India

While all the hocus pocus on freebies debates happening on Social Media platforms, the Election Commission of India (ECI) is silently working on modifications and bringing in additional Moral Code of Conduct (MCC) during elections. This amendment relates to bringing in revised guidelines on the Political Manifesto released by Political parties which will have Financial implications. This will bring in more transparency and will require the Political parties to spell out on how they intend to fulfill the promises which has a financial implication.

The ECI recognises the democratic rights of parties to provide what they wanted to deliver when they come to power. At the same time, it also wants to bring in accountability and transparency which the voters are entitled to know. ECI officials are not going in to the nitty grittiest of what is categorized as freebies as there is a case pending in Supreme Court which is focused on defining what is freebies. Whereas, the intention is to bring in Voter transparency and promises made on economic aspects.

The new guidelines are expected to come into force from next State elections to be held in Meghalaya, Karnataka, Tripura and Nagaland which are due in early 2023. A proposal to that effect have already been sent to all Political parties for their comments.

Soon, voters will not only know what will be their poll promises but also how the Political parties intend to fulfill them financially.

 Lt Gen P R Shankar (R)

The author is a retired Director General of Artillery. He is currently a Professor in the Aerospace Department of IIT Madras. He writes extensively on defence & strategic affairs