Government advertisements usually inform the public of their rights, duties and entitlements and also explain government policies, programmes, services and initiatives. In order to prevent achieve this purpose, government advertisements should be objective, politically neutral and should not promote the political interest of the ruling party.
For example, while advertising the mid-day meal scheme offered by the government, the ruling party cannot use these advertisements in order to glorify leaders and candidates of their party. Adding names and photos of the party leaders to these advertisements would be a violation of MCC.
Therefore during the time of the election, the ruling party cannot1:
- Use funds from public exchequer reserved for government advertisements for their own re-election.
- Project a positive impression of the party in power or a negative impression of other political parties through these advertisements.
Content of Government Advertisements
Advertisement materials of the government must not2:
- Mention the party in the government by name;
- Directly attack the views or actions of others in opposition;
- Include their own party political symbol or logo or flag;
- Aim to influence public support for a political party, candidate for election; or
- Refer to link to the websites of political parties or politicians.
- Rule VII – Party in Power, Model Code of Conduct – Election Commission of India, available at https://eci.gov.in/mcc/.
- State of Karnataka v. Common Cause and Ors., etc., (2016) 13 SCC 639