Election Model Code of Conduct : Payment of Discretionary Funds
Date : 9th January 2017

No.4/56/ELEC/PR/SAE-2017: The Election Commission of India (ECl) vide press NotesNo.ECvPNtll2OlT & No. ECI/PN/2/2017 dated 0410112017has announced 2(two) phases of Poll Schedule for the General Elections to the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly and with the announcement of Election Schedule by the Election Commission, the Model Code of Conduct came into effect w.e.f. 4ih January,2017 and applies to the whole of Manipur State and applicable to all candidates, political parties, the State and Union Government as far as Manipur State is concerned.

A. Payment out of discretionary funds and MP / MLA Local Area DeveloPment Scheme

(i). No fresh release of funds under the Member of Parliament (including Rajya Sabha members) Local Area Development fund shall be made in any part of the country where election is in progress. Similarly no fresh release of funds under the MLAs'i MLCs' Local Area Development Fund shall be made, if any such scheme is in operation, till the completion of election process.

(ii). No work shall start in respect of which work orders have been issued before the issue of this letter but the work has actually not started in the field. These works can start only after the completion of election process. However, if a work has actually started, that can continue. Where schemes have been cleared and funds are provided or released and materials procured and reached the site such scheme may be executed as per programme.

(iii).There shall be no bar to the release of payments for completed work(s) subject to the full satisfaction of the concerned officials.

(iv). For a period of three months immediately prior to a polling in a general election mid -term election or bye- election in any constituency, no expenditure should ordinarily be incurred from a Ministries Discretionary Grant except in a case where it becomes absolutely necessary on compassionate grounds'

B. Election Manifestos

The Commission, in the interest of free and fair elections, directs that Political parties and Candidates while releasing election manifestos for any election to the parliament or State Legislatures, shall adhere to the following guidelines:

(i). The election manifesto shall not contain anything repugnant to the ideals and principles enshrined in the Constitution and further that it shall be consistent with the letter and spirit of other provisions of Model Code of Conduct.

(ii) The Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in the Constitution enjoin upon the State to frame various welfare measures for the citizens and therefore there can be no objection to the promise of such welfare measures in election manifestos. However, political parties should avoid making those promises which are likely to vitiate the purity of the election process or exert undue influence on the voters in exercising their franchise'

(iii) In the interest of transparency, Ievel playing field and credibility of promises, it is expected that manifestos also reflect the rationale for the promises and broadly indicate the ways and means to meet the financial requirements for it. Trust of voters should be sought only on those promises which are possible to be fulfilled.

(iv). The Commission has desired that, whenever a political party releases its manifesto for whichever election conducted by the Commission, a (hard) copy of the same along with a soft copy may be sent to the Commission and the Chief Electoral Officer concerned for its record.

(v). The Chief Electoral Officers shall also obtain a copy of the manifestos from the political parties, whenever they are issued and analyze them vis-d-vis the Guidelines on the manifestos issued by the Commission and give their comments to the Commission at the earliest.

C. Restriction on use of Guest Houses etc.

(i). No part of State Guest Houses, Bhawans and Sadans at Delhi are utilized for any political activities of the kind. There are, however, no restrictions for use of Bhawans for genuine requirements accommodation of officers and other visitors including political functionaries purely for purposes of their official tour to Delhi.

(ii). Rest houses, Dak bungalows or other Government accommodation shall not be monopolized by the party in power or its candidates and such accommodation shall be allowed to be used by other parties and candidates in a fair manner but no party or candidate shall use or be allowed to use such accommodation (including premises appertaining thereto) as a campaign office or for holding any Public meeting'

(iii). Even casual meeting by Members of political parties inside the premises of the Government owned guesthouse etc. are not permitted and any violation of this shall be deemed to be a violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

(iv). Only the vehicle carrying the person allotted accommodation in the guest house and not more than two other vehicles, if used by the person, will be permitted inside the compound of the Guest House,

(v) Rooms should not be made available for more than 48 hours to any single individual. However, 48 hours before the close of poll in any particular area' there will be freeze on such allocations till completion of poll or re-poll'

(vi). Accommodation in Government Guest houses / Rest houses or Guest Houses of Public Sector Undertakings of the Centre or State Government in the States (or the districts) where elections have been announced or are taking place can be given to the political functionaries who are provided security by the State in Z scale or above or equivalent by various State Government under provisions of their laws, on equitable basis. This shall be subject to condition that such accommodation is not already allotted or occupied by election related officials or observers. Some political functionaries shall not carry out any political activity while staying in the Government Guest Houses / Rest Houses or Guest Houses of Public Sector Undertakings as mentioned above.

D. Activation of WhatsApp No.9436021798 for PGRS:

From today official Mobile No.9436021798 has been activated which will be exclusively used to receive election related complaints on whatsApp. Picture, videos, documents related to MCC violation, electoral malpractices can be shared on this number by general public and due cognizance by CEO's office will be taken.

(Vivek Kumar Dewangan)
Chief Electoral Officer, Manipur

* This Press Release was sent to by DIPR , Manipur who can be contacted at diprmanipur(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This Post is webcasted on January 10 2017

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