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SEC Issues Code Of Conduct

Bhubaneswar: The State Election Commission has issued a detailed Model Code of Conduct, which will come into force from the date of issue of election notifications, for the upcoming Panchayat polls in the State.

The Model Code of Conduct, issued in Odia and English versions, directs the conduct of free and fair elections. It will remain in force till the completion of counting of votes.

“The Odisha Election Commission on the exercise of powers vested on it by Article 243 K of the Constitution of India and Panchayat Acts and Rules has prescribed a Model Code of Conduct for the upcoming Panchayat Polls in the State,” read the order.

It indicates that the SEC is almost ready to go for the poll and at any time, the election dates will be declared.

The three-tier Panchayat election in the State is likely to be held in February 2022. It is likely that the date of the panchayat elections is likely to be officially announced during the last week of December, sources said.

The voter list is expected to be made available to all the parties involved in the by-elections on December 20. The three-tier elections will be held in 6,794 panchayats in the State. The voting deadlines have been extended. The voting process will take place from 7 am to 1 pm.

The Model Code of Conduct will remain the same as last Panchayat Elections.

Permission from competent authority shall be obtained for use of loudspeakers and in any case, such loudspeakers must not be used between 8 PM of the night to 7 AM next morning. Use of loudspeakers shall be completely stopped 36 hours before the beginning of the poll, as per the prescribed norms.

No party or candidate shall convene, hold or attend any public meeting in any polling area during the period of 36 hours preceding the time fixed for the commencement of the poll.

All those candidates contesting for the offices where election is being conducted on nonpolitical party basis shall not use the name and symbol of any political party during campaigning.

Permission to use public places for holding election meetings and to take out procession on public roads shall be given by the appropriate authority on a first come first serve basis.

No liquor or intoxicant shall be served by any political party or candidate to their workers/ supporters on the polling day and during the 36 hours preceding it.

Ministers, Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers, Government Chief Whip, Dy Chief Whip and Leader of the Opposition, President and Vice-President of Zilla Parishad, MPs & MLAs and persons holding public offices who are provided with official perquisites and transport, shall not combine their official visits with electioneering work and shall not also make use of the official machinery or personnel or transport or Circuit House, Dak Bungalows, etc. for election campaigning directly or indirectly.

No Bhumi Puja, laying of foundation stones or inaugural ceremonies in respect of works/ projects/programs, funded partly or wholly by Government, or out of MP/MLA LAD fund shall be undertaken by Ministers or any public dignitary in any constituency.

Such functions and ceremonies, even if organized in urban areas, are prohibited if such works/ projects/programs are primarily intended for the benefit of the rural areas and to influence the rural voters.

No assurance influencing voters nor any proposal for sanction of projects out of MP/ MLA LAD fund shall be given during the operation of the model code of conduct.

No advertisement or publication at the cost of Central or State Government/Public undertakings/Corporations/Co-operatives, etc. highlighting achievements, which will have the effect of influencing the voters in elections shall be issued/published.