Punjab State Election Commission (SEC) on Thursday issued instructions of District Commissioners (DCs) to ensure strict implementation of model code of conduct during ongoing Gram Panchayat elections.
“General public can file complaints with the concerned election observers against any violation of model code of conduct by any candidate or political party,” said a SEC spokesperson, adding that District Electoral Officer or Deputy Commissioners and the police have been authorized to initiate prosecution against violation of model code of conduct before the competent criminal courts under intimation to the State Election Commissioner.
The SEC spokesperson said that the code of conduct will be known as code of conduct for the local bodies election and this applies to political parties, contesting candidates, ministers, employees of the state government and local bodies and other public servant connected with local bodies elections. “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 linguistic. Further, during the election process Ministers shall not combine their official visit with electioneering work and shall not make use of official machinery and personnel or other Government resources including government vehicle for furtherance of interests of any candidate,” the SEC spokesperson said, adding that even the official telephones including mobiles, fax etc. shall not be used for electioneering purposes.
“The candidates can use loud speakers only between 07.00 am to 10.00 pm and no party or candidate shall hold public meeting or processions without obtaining necessary permission from the competent Local Authority(s). Further, places of worship such as temples, mosques, churches etc. shall not be used as forum for election propaganda,” added the spokesperson.