Poll campaigning in Karnataka stooped to ‘plummeting level’: ECI
New Delhi: Taking serious note of the “plummeting level” of campaign discourse during the ongoing Karnataka Legislative Assembly elections, the Election Commission of India today issued an advisory to all National and State Parties and candidates to exercise caution and restraint in their utterances during campaigning and not to vitiate the election atmosphere.
The Commission said its attention was recently brought to the instances of inappropriate vocabulary and language used during the ongoing campaign by persons, in particular, by those invested with the statutory status of “star campaigner”. Such instances have occasioned various complaints, cross complaints and have also attracted negative media attention.
Taking note of the above, in an advisory issued to all Political Parties for strict compliance, the Commission noted that National Parties and Star Campaigners enjoy extra enablements within the Representation of People Act.
The advisory states “It is imperative for all parties and stakeholders to remain within the confines of the Model Code of Conduct and the legal framework in their utterances while campaigning so as to maintain the dignity of the political discourse and not to vitiate the campaign and the election atmosphere. They are thus expected to contribute in maintaining and raising the level of discourse to “issue” based debate, provide pan India perspective, depth to the local discourse and to reassure all sections of electors to participate fully and fearlessly in a free and fair election.”
In the advisory, the ECI invited the attention of the political parties to the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and other statutory provisions which hold the field and fix the framework of the expected campaign discourse.
The ECI noted that as per the MCC provisions, the use of provocative and inflammatory statements, the use of intemperate and abusive language transgressing the limits of decency and attacks on the personal character and conduct of political rivals vitiate the level playing field. The spirit of the MCC is not just avoidance of a direct violation, it also prohibits attempts to vitiate the electoral space through suggestive or indirect statements or innuendoes, the ECI said.
– global bihari bureau