The Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Ltd (Tasmac) has seized liquor valued at ₹5.13 lakh from Krishnagiri. Tasmac deployed flying squads in all districts after the announcement of the election dates to monitor liquor movement and to stop spurious liquor from entering the State.
In this context, let us look at what the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) disallows during election campaigning.
Candidates and parties should not use liquor to bribe voters. In fact, liquor is totally banned in the 48 hours before elections i.e., the 2 days before voting are dry days. Liquor shops must be closed 48 hours before the date of polling to prevent consumption and distribution of alcohol to bribe voters.
While campaigning, parties and candidates should not create tension or hatred between different religious communities. They cannot use temples, mosques, churches, and other places of worship for any election campaigning.
Using official vehicles
Parties and candidates cannot use official (government) vehicles for campaigning or election-related travel, once the election dates are announced till the election ends.
Political advertising is advertising which pursues a political agenda. For example, posters, rallys, social media advertisements etc. similar to political propaganda. Candidates and political parties cannot:
- Put up abusive advertisements
- Use public funds reserved for government advertisements to promote their own political interests. Government advertisements must not mention the name of the ruling party, or their political symbol, logo or flag.
- Use public property to put up political advertisements as part of election campaigning. During campaigning, posters, billboards and hoardings can display only general information like government schemes, but cannot display the achievements of specific political parties, photos of politicians and party symbols. Parties or candidates cannot use your land, building or compound wall without your permission to erect billboards, hoardings, notices etc. If this happens, please complain to your nearest District Electoral Office.
The Media Certification and Monitoring Committee present in every district regulates advertisements in all mediums, including newspapers, social media, television, radio, etc.
What happens if someone violates the MCC?
If someone violates the MCC, the election authorities can take necessary actions from issuing a warning to even removing candidature. During the campaigning period, the Election Commission plays an important role in taking immediate actions to stop MCC violations. For example, the Election Commission can stop government advertisements endorsing the ruling party, and District Election Officers can register criminal charges against a candidate for making remarks leading to communal tension.
To know more about campaigning restrictions, read our explainer.