ECI Warns of Suspension, Ban for Politicos Over Hate Speeches

Hyderabad: The Election Commission of India (ECI), which set up a monitoring wing to track objectionable speeches, is set to temporarily ban candidates and leaders who indulge in hate speeches in their election campaigns.

The ECI will register suo motu complaints based on video footage and take action, including banning those responsible from election-related programmes. Besides, it will also consider complaints from citizens, NGOs and political parties on social media platforms, as the model code of conduct is in force in Telangana.

The action comes against a backdrop of leaders of multiple parties indulging in remarks against other parties. In a meeting at Thorrur, BRS working president K.T. Rama Rao told people that they may accept the money offered by the Congress and BJP, but vote for BRS candidates. Another instance was when BJP national general secretary Bandi Sanjay Kumar spoke against the MIM, saying it must contest in all constituencies if the party loved Muslims.

ECI officials said that no party or candidate shall indulge in an activity that may aggravate existing differences, create mutual hatred, or cause tension between different castes and communities, along religious or linguistic lines.

“Criticism of other political parties, when made, shall be confined to their policies and programmes, past record and work. Parties and candidates shall refrain from criticism of all aspects of private life, not connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers of other parties. Criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations or distortion shall be avoided,” the ECI said.

The ECI stated that there should be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes. Mosques, churches, temples and other places of worship should not be used as a forum for election propaganda, as per guidelines issued.

All parties and candidates must avoid scrupulously all activities which are “corrupt practices” and offences under the election law, such as bribing of voters, intimidation of voters, impersonation of voters, canvassing within 100 metres of polling stations, holding public meetings during 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for the close of the poll, and the transport and conveyance of voters to and from polling station, the ECI stated.

Recent incidents of politicos remarks recently while MCC is in force

Politicos remarks go against ECI norms

October 9: BRS working president K.T. Rama Rao, at a meeting in Thorrur, tells people to accept money, if offered, by the Congress and the BJP in the ensuing Assembly elections, but vote for the BRS.

October 11: BJP MP Bandi Sanjay said that if the “MIM has guts, they should contest across Telangana. Their love towards Muslims is all fake which even the members of the community realised.”

Guidelines under the model code of conduct

- No political party or candidate shall permit its or his/her followers to make use of any individual’s land, building, or compound wall without his/her permission for erecting flag staffs, suspending banners, pasting notices or writing slogans.

- Political parties and candidates shall ensure that their supporters do not create obstructions in or break up meetings and processions organised by other parties.

- Workers or sympathisers of one political party shall not create disturbances at public meetings organised by another political party, by putting questions orally or in writing or by distributing leaflets of their own party.

- Processions shall not be taken out by one party along places where meetings are held by another party.

- Posters issued by one party shall not be removed by workers of another party.

- The party or candidate shall inform the local police authorities of the venue and time of a proposed meeting.

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