The Election Commission of India issued an order that the Model Code of Conduct will be immediately enforced in states where legislative assemblies have been dissolved prematurely.
The caretaker government in the state or the Centre will not be allowed to announce any new major policies or schemes. The EC said, “Consequently, neither the caretaker state government nor the central government shall announce any new schemes, projects, etc., in relation to that state or undertake any of the activities prohibited under the Model Code of Conduct.”
— The New Indian Express (@NewIndianXpress) September 27, 2018
EC in a letter to the Cabinet Secretary and Chief Secretaries to all states and UTs said, “the provisions of Part-VII (Party in Power) of the Model Code of Conduct shall come into operation with immediate effect in the state concerned and shall continue to be in force till the completion of the election to constitute the new legislative assembly.”
The order also said that, “All other prohibitions under Part-VII, such as use of official resources for any non-official purposes, combining of official visit with electioneering work, etc. shall apply on all Ministers and other authorities of the caretaker State government, the Central government as well as governments of other States.”
The decision came after the Telangana assembly was dissolved prematurely on September 6, nine months before its term ends citing a clash between Lok Sabha and assembly elections.
The poll dates have not yet been announced by the EC. Before today’s decision, Model Code of Conduct was applicable only with the announcement of poll schedule by the commission.
The directions of the EC are in line with Supreme Court’s observation in S R Bommai Vs Union of India (1994) case.