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List of documents regarding Model Code of Conduct


Election Commission's letter No.437/6/98-PLN-II dated 15.09.1998 addressed to Chief Secretary to the Government of 1. Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal, 2. Rajasthan, Jaipur, 3. Mizoram, Aizawl, 4. NCTof Delhi and Copy endorsed to CEOs of 1. Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal, 2.Rajasthan, Jaipur, 3.Mizoram, Aizawl, 4. NCT of Delhi.

Subject: Preparations for election for electing new State Assemblies.

The tenure of the assembly in the State is expiring in December 1998; and elections have to be held shortly. As you know, the Commission and the State Electoral Officers are actively focusing on the arrangements, and meetings are being continuously held at Delhi and at your State Headquarters, to finalise all arrangements. The Election Commission of India, and the entire State election machinery are, therefore, in active election mode.

The Election Commission of India and all political parties, desire a level playing field, in order to ensure fair and free elections. The commission is expected very shortly, to announce the detailed schedule for elections. Therefore, the Commission expects, and strongly urges, that the State Governments, at this juncture, with a very short period left for the formal start of the election process, will refrain from taking any major financial and other initiatives, which can be widely perceived as distorting the level playing field for all parties, particularly the opposition. The Commission is confident, that in the 4 years and nine months of its tenure, the State government has taken all beneficial developmental steps, which it wished to, undertake. Any major announcements of this nature now, with only a couple of months left at best, are bound to be misconstrued, and not expected of any political party, in India's 5 decade old mature democracy.

The Commission would also advise against the creation of any new administrative units or major 'academic institutions etc. In general the Commission expects that nothing will be done by the incumbent ruling political party, which can be seen as simply largesse for undesirable exertion of influence on voters. The Commission further directs that as the Head of the Services in the State, you will take due care and caution, to ensure, that the entire administrative apparatus in the State, not only remains neutral, but is visibly seen to be so, by the general public and all political parties.

Election Commission’s letter No. 437/6/16/2004, dated 09.03.2004 addressed to the Secretary to the govt. of India. Ministry of Rural Development Department of Rural Development, New Delhi-110001

Subject: - Model Code of Conduct.

I am directed to refer to your letter no. PS/JS (RL)/04-216 dated 24-2-2004 and to state that after taking into consideration all relevant factors, the Commission has decided that:-

  1. The work which has already been started on ground may be continued
  2. No fresh work shall be started till the completion of the elections and
  3. Tenders are not to be finalized during the period of elections.


Ministry of Rural Development,
Government of India,
Deptt. of Rural Development Krishi Bhawan,
New Delhi - 110001.

D.O. No. PS/JS(RC)/04-216 February 24, 2004.

SUBJECT: - Model Code of Conduct and continuation of programme activities under PMGSY

Please refer to the Ministry's D.O. letter No. 17015/1/2004-GC dated 13th February, 2004 addressed to you. As you are aware the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for providing rural connectivity. Copy of the PMGSY Guidelines is enclosed herewith. The main features include the following:

  • The proposals for the road works are cleared by the State Level Standing Committee headed by the Chief Secretary. Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) are checked by independent State Technical Agencies such as IITs, RECs etc.
  • Poposals of the State are considered by the Inter-Ministerial Empowered Committee chaired by Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development and Adviser (Transport), Planning Commission, representative of Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and Director, CRRI, etc. are members of the Committee.
  • After clearance, the works are put to open tender by the State Government according to the Standard Bidding Document for PMGSY and works are to be completed within a period of 9 months.

2. The stages of execution commencing with the clearance by the Ministry to the Annual Proposals comprises:

  • Issue of Notices Inviting Tenders, specifying date and time of closing of receipts f bids and opening of tenders as per Standard Bidding Document provisions
  • Finalisation on the basis of lowest qualifying bid and award of work
  • Issue of Work Orders after Contract agreement.
  • Re-tendering in case of inadequate response

Decisions for the purpose are taken at the level of the Programme Implementation Unit (PIU) or the Executing Agency/Department as per pattern of the State.

3. Some State Governments have queried whether the PMGSY Scheme will be affected by the Model Code of Conduct to be brought into force by the Election commission of India. In this connection, it may be pointed out that the process of election of the road works qualifying under the PMGSY criteria and preparation of DPRs is a well regulated and time consuming process and proposals coming to the Empowered Committee are accordingly those which have been put through a systematic procedure starting many months earlier. The Empowered Committee is an official inter- Ministerial Committee. The PMGSY is a regular Centrally Sponsored Programme and the works have to be tendered and awarded in such a way that the earth work and Water bound Macadam (WBM) needs to be completed before the end of the monsoon for proper results. As an abundant precaution, the State Governments have been advised not to refer any matters relating to tendering and award of works for decision of the political executive, elected representative (if that was the practice) during the period of the Model Code of Conduct.

Accordingly, the Election Commission may kindly confirm that execution of annual PMGSY proposals of States cleared before coming into force of the Model Code of Conduct may be continued as per the PMGSY Guidelines (subject to such conditions that the Election Commission of India may like to lay down) so that the earth work and WBM is completed before the end of the monsoon. Needless to add, there will be no inaugurations, announcements, laying of foundation stones etc. by public figures/individuals during the period that the Model Code of Conduct is in force.

With regards,

Yours sincerely,
(S. Vijay Kumar)
Shri A.N. Jha
Deputy Election Commissioner
Election Commission of India

Election Commissioner’s letter No. 437/6/16/2003/PLN-III, dated 01.04.2004 addressed to Smt. Asha Swarup, Joint Secretary (SGSY), Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi-110 001.

Sub: Clarification regarding implementation of Rural Development Programmes.

I am directed to refer to the meeting you had in the Commission on 27th March, 2004 regarding implementation of various rural development programmes. In view of the Model Code of Conduct in force till the completion of elections, the Commission has directed the following: -

  1. Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY): - Continuing works in Progress under SGRY may be continued and funds earmarked for such works can be released. In case of any Panchayat where all on going works have been completed and there is a requirement for taking up NEW wage employment works and where funds released directly to the Panchayats from the Ministry of Rural Development are available, new works can be started from approved annual action plan for 2003-04 with the prior consent of the District Collector / District Election Officer. From other funds, no new works should be started.
  2. Indira Awas Yojana (IAY): - Beneficiaries who have been sanctioned housing scheme under IAY and have started work, will be assisted as per norms. No new constructions will be taken up or fresh beneficiaries sanctioned assistance till the elections are over.
  3. Swaranjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY): - Under SGSY, only those help groups which have received part of their subsidy / grant will be provided the balance installments. No fresh individual beneficiaries or SHGs will be given financial assistance till the elections are over.

Election Commission’s letter No. 464/INST/2007-PLN-I Dated: 07.01.07addressed to The Chief Secretaries and the Chief Electoral Officers of all States and Union Territories.

Subject: CODE OF CONDUCT – DOs & ‘DONT’s

The Commission has issued various instructions on observance of code of conduct from time to time. Important aspects of the code of conduct are reiterated below:

On Welfare schemes and governmental works:

  1. Announcement of new projects or programme or concessions or financial grants in any form or promises thereof or laying of foundation stones, etc., which have the effect of influencing the voters in favour of the party in power is prohibited.
  2. These restrictions apply equally to new schemes and also ongoing schemes. But it does not mean that in the case of national, regional and State utility schemes, which have already been brought up to the stage of completion, their utilization or functioning in public interest should be stopped or delayed. The coming into force of the Model Code of Conduct cannot be given as an excuse for not commissioning such schemes or allowing them to remain idle. At the same time, it should be ensured that the commissioning of such schemes is done by civil authority and without associating political functionaries and without any fanfare or ceremonies whatever, so that no impression is given or created that such commissioning has been done with a view to influencing the electorate in favour of the ruling party. If in doubt, a clarification should be obtained from Chief Electoral Officer/Election Commission of India.
  3. It is further clarified that simply because a budget provision has been made for any particular scheme or the scheme has been sanctioned earlier or a reference to the scheme was made in the address of the Governor or the budget speech of the Minister it does not automatically mean that such schemes can be announced or inaugurated or otherwise taken up after the announcement of elections while the Model Code of conduct is in operation, since they will clearly be intended to influence the voters. Such actions if undertaken will be considered a violation of the model code of conduct.
  4. No fresh sanctions for governmental schemes should be made. Review by political executive (Ministers etc.) and processing of beneficiary oriented schemes, even if ongoing, should be stopped till completion of elections. No fresh release of funds on welfare schemes and works should be made or contract for works awarded in any part of the state where election is in progress without prior permission of the Commission. This includes works under the Member of Parliament (including Rajya Sabha members) Local Area Development fund or MLAs / MLCs Local Area Development Fund, if any such scheme is in operation in the state.
  5. No work shall start in respect of which even if work orders have been issued before the model code came into effect, if the work has actually not started in the field. These works can start only after the completion of election process. However, if a work has actually started, that can continue.
  6. There shall be no bar to the release of payments for completed work(s) subject to the full satisfaction of the concerned officials.
  7. Commission does not refuse approval for schemes undertaken for tackling emergencies or unforeseen calamities like providing relief to people suffering from drought, floods, pestilences, other natural calamities or welfare measures for the aged, infirm etc. In these matters, however, prior approval of the Commission should be taken and all ostentatious functions should be strictly avoided and no impression should be given or allowed to be created that such welfare measures or relief and rehabilitation works are being undertaken by the Government in office so as to influence the electors in favour of the party in power which at the same time will adversely affect the prospects of the other parties.

On Transfers and posting of officials:

The Commission directs that there shall be a total ban on the transfer of all officers/officials connected with the conduct of the election. These include but are not restricted to: -

  1. The Chief Electoral Officer and Additional/Joint/Deputy Chief Electoral Officers;
  2. Divisional Commissioners;
  3. The District Election Officers, Returning Officers, Assistant Returning Officers and other Revenue Officers connected with the Conduct of Elections;
  4. Officers of the Police Department connected with the management of elections like range IGs and DIGs, Senior Superintendents of Police and Superintendents of Police, Sub-divisional level Police Officers like Deputy Superintendents of Police and other Police officers who are deputed to the Commission under section 28A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951;
  5. Other officers drafted for election works like sector and zonal officers, Transport cell, EVM cell, Poll material procurement & distribution cell, Training cell, Printing Cell etc. Senior officers, who have a role in the management of election in the State, are also covered by this direction.
  6. The transfer orders issued in respect of the above categories of officers prior to the date of announcement but not implemented till the time when model code came into effect should not be given effect to without obtaining specific permission from the Commission.
  7. This ban shall be effective till the completion of the election process.
  8. In those cases where transfer of an officer is considered necessary on account of administrative exigencies, the State Government may, with full justification, approach the Commission for prior clearance.
  9. No appointments or promotions in Government / Public Undertakings shall be made during this period, without prior clearance of the Commission.

On Misuse of Official Machinery:

  1. Official vehicles cannot be used for electioneering work. ‘Official Vehicles' include all vehicles belonging to
    • Central and State Government,
    • Public Undertakings of the Central and State Government,
    • Joint Sector Undertakings of Central and State Government,
    • Local Bodies, Municipal Corporations, Municipalities,
    • Marketing Boards (by whatever name known),
    • Cooperative Societies,
    • Autonomous District Councils, or
    • Any other body in which public funds, howsoever small a portion of the total, are invested, and also
    • Vehicles belonging to the Ministry of Defence and the Central Police Organizations under the Ministry of Home Affairs and State Governments.
  2. It is open for a minister of the Union or State to make private visits using his or her private vehicle(s). For such private visits, the official personal staff of the ministers shall not accompany them. However, if a Minister is traveling in some emergent situation, out of his HQ on purely official business, which cannot be avoided in public interest, then a letter certifying to this effect should be sent from the Secretary concerned of the Department to the Chief Secretary of the state where the Minister intends to visit, with a copy to the Commission. During such tour, the Chief Secretary may provide the Minister with Government vehicle and accommodation and other usual courtesies for his official trip. However, immediately preceding or during or in continuation of such an official tour, no minister can carry out or combine any election campaign or political activity. The Commission will keep watch on such arrangements in due consultation with its Chief Electoral Officer.
  3. No Minister, whether of union or state, will summon any election related officer of the constituency or the State, for any official discussions during the period of elections commencing with the announcement of the elections. Only exception will be when a Minister, in his capacity as in charge of the department concerned, or a Chief Minister undertakes an official visit to a constituency, in connection with failure of law and order or a natural calamity or any such emergency which requires personal presence of such Ministers/Chief Ministers for the specific purpose of supervising review/salvage/relief and such like purpose.
  4. 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.
  5. Ministers, whether of the Union or State, shall not combine in any manner their official tours with election work.
  6. Whether on a private or official visit, no pilot car(s) or car(s) with beacon lights of any colour or car(s) affixed with sirens of any kind shall be used by any political functionary, even if the State administration has granted him a security cover requiring presence of armed guards to accompany him on such visit. This is applicable whether the vehicle is government owned or private owned.
  7. Any official who meets the Minister on his private visit to the constituency where elections are being held shall be guilty of misconduct under the relevant service rules; and if he happens to be an official mentioned in Section 129 (1) of the Representation of People Act, 1951, he shall also be additionally considered to have violated the statutory provisions of that Section and liable to penal action provided there-under.