Election Commission tells parties to ensure purity of polls

April 13th, 2009 - 12:30 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 13 (IANS) As political leaders brace for the Lok Sabha polls beginning Thursday, the Election Commission has asked all parties to scrupulously observe the Model Code of Conduct and set high standards of electoral morality.
In a written communication sent to all recognised national and state political parties late Sunday, the poll panel said: “The Election Commission expects that all political parties, their leaders, workers and supporters as well as their candidates shall scrupulously observe the Model Code of Conduct in letter and spirit.”

While expressing unhappiness at the flouting of norms of the Model Code of Conduct, the Election Commission also asked parties to conduct their electoral campaigns in a way that set “high standards of electoral morality so as to ensure the integrity and purity of the exercise”.

“The open distribution of money, justified in the name of ‘local customs’, is also most deplorable… In fact, these violations of the Model Code of Conduct and, in several instances, the law of the land seem to be turning into something of a trend, which if unchecked, is bound to seriously damage the election process and set a deplorable precedent for future elections,” it said while elaborating the various obligations of the parties under the code of conduct.

The Election Commission also asked political parties to refrain from caste diatribes, personal attacks on rival leaders, causing tension among religious communities and employing “corrupt practices” such as bribing and intimidation of voters.

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