Prior to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the EC prevents issuance of declaration in the last 48 hours before the elections

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TRI news: The Election Commission on Saturday stopped political parties from issuing election declarations in the last 48 hours before voting.

The Commission has now made the election manifesto a part of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), which is a set of rules by the parties after the announcement of the elections.

The revised model code now states, “In the case of a single-phase election, the declaration will not be issued during the prohibited period, as defined under Section 126 of the Public Representation Act, 1951.”

“In the case of multi-phase elections, the declaration will not be issued during the prohibited period, as all the stages of those elections are fixed under Section 126 of the RP Act.”

Section 126 of the Act symbolizes “election silence”, which prohibits any form of election campaign leading to voting in the last 48 hours.

There was no rule at the time of issue of the declaration so far.

In 2014, the BJP released its Lok Sabha manifesto on the first phase of voting. Although the Congress had complained to the Election Commission, stating that the voters would be affected, at the time of issuing the Commission declaration, MCC was unable to work after being silent.

A panel formed by the Election Commission recently had recommended that the parties be stopped from issuing the manifesto in the last 72 hours before voting.

While many parties were silent on this issue, Congress opposed the proposal.

Since the model code is not a law, therefore any violation leads to the rebuke by the Election Commission.

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