WEST BENGAL STATE ELECTION COMMISSION
18, Sarojini Naidu Sarani
Kolkata – 700 017
Ph. No. (033) 2280-5261; FAX- 2280-7474
No. 615-SEC/4D-10/2015 Date: 17.03.2015
West Bengal State Election Commission
To: The Chief Secretary
to the Government of West Bengal
Nabanna, 325, Sarat Chatterjee Road
Howra – 711102
Sub: Model Code of Conduct
I am to enclose a copy of Model Code of Conduct in connection with conduct of Municipal General Election, 2015.
Important aspects of Model Code of Conduct are reiterated below:
1. The provisions of the Model Code of Conduct of Political parties and candidates will come into force with effect from the date of Notification to be issued by the State Government under section 36(3) and by the State Election Commission under Section 37 of West Bengal Municipal Elections Act, 1994.
2. Announcement of new projects or programmes or concessions or financial grants in any form or provisions thereof or laying of foundation stones etc. which have the effect of influencing the voters in favours of the party in power is prohibited.
3. All advertisements, hoardings at the cost of public exchequer depicting an achievements of the State Government or Urban Local Bodies shall be removed forthwith by the concerned authorities as continuing display of such hoardings and of such advertisements at the cost of public exchequer, even if such hoardings, advertisements or posters were displayed prior to the date of Notification of elections, constitutes a violation of Model Code of Conduct as it provides an undue advantage to the ruling party in power and has the effect of influencing the voters in favour of the party in power.
4. Even if a budget provision has been made for any particular scheme or the schemes has been sanctioned earlier, it does not automatically mean that such schemes can be announced or Inaugurated or otherwise taken up after the Issue of the aforesaid Notifications while the Model Code of Conduct is in operation.
5. No work shall start in respect of which even if work order has been issued before the Model of Conduct come in effect, if the work has actually not started in the field.
6. There shall be a total ban on the transfer of all officials connected with the conduct of the Municipal General Elections, 2015 election.
7. It is open for a Minister to make private visits using his private vehicles.
8. No Minister will summon any election related officer for any official discussion during the period of election. No official of any rank of the Districts where elections is being held, shall be called to attend any meeting by any Minister in any District i.e. including other Districts where election is not being held.
The only exception will be when a Minister in his capacity as in charge of the concerned Department or Chief Minister undertakes an official visit to a constituency, or summons any election related officers of any Municipality to a place outside the Municipal Area in connection with failure of law and order or a natural calamity or any such emergency which requires personal presence of such Minister/ Chief Minister for the specific purpose of review/salvage/relief and such like purpose.
9. Ministers are entitled to use their official vehicles only for commuting from their official residence to their office for official work provided that such commuting is not combined with any electioneering or any political activity.
The number of vehicles to accompany the carcade of the Chief Minister, State Ministers, Chairman of State Corporations or any State Institutions including pilots, escorts etc. will be strictly in accordance with the instructions laid down by the security authorities and shall not exceed them under any circumstances.
10. Whether on a private or official visit, no pilot car with beacon lights of any colour on cars affixed with siren of any kind shall be used by any political functionary.
11. There would be no objection to the holding of the statutory meeting subject to the condition that no new policy decisions and announcement shall be made in such meetings.
12. No video conferencing should take place between the Ministers and other political functionaries and the officials individually or collectively after the issue of the Notification of election.
13. After the campaign period is over, all political functionaries, who are not voters of the constituency going for the poll, shall leave the Municipal area.
14. The Municipal Returning Officer shall maintain a party wise register to track instances of violations being committed by various candidates or campaigners of various political parties. This should be a sort of daily register indicating names of such candidate, campaigner and political party, brief description of violation, date of violation, follow up action taken and the order passed by any election official / the Commission, if any.
15. When cases of violation of Modal Code of Conduct or provision of law are brought to its notice, the Commission in appropriate cases, issues notice to the person concerned and also to political parties concerned for cases involving important leaders political parties. It would only be reasonable and logical to hold the political party concerned responsible for any act of omission or Commission by any leader of the concerned Political Party. Attention of political parties is also invited to the provisions of paragraph 16A of the Election Symbol (Reservation and Allotment) order 1968 issued by the Election Commission of India.
16. No official against whom a criminal case is pending on any Court of Law be associated with the election or election related action.
17. The instructions of the Commission regulating the implementation of the schemes shall be applicable in respect of the areas falling within the Municipalities /Urban Local Bodies going for General election 2015.
However, all other instructions of the Commission shall continue to remain applicable to the entire District in which the Urban Local Bodies is situated.
All concerned may kindly be informed of the above provision of the Model Code of Conduct for compliance.
Sd/- S.R. Upadhaya
West Bengal State Election Commission