Wanaparthy: The action to be taken on the violations by the already declared nominees of political parties for the upcoming elections still remains a grey area, as the Election Commission of India’s guidelines about moral code of conduct apply to the candidates only after filing their nominations.
Wanaparthy Collector Sweta Mohanty held an awareness programme about Moral Code of Conduct (MCC) and Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) at the District Collectorate on Thursday, to which representatives of various political parties and media persons attended.
Political party representatives expressed various concerns about violations of the moral code of conduct by certain political parties and sought to know from Sweta Mohanty what action would be taken by the election officers in that respect. She replied saying any violation of code could be brought to the notice of the district administration, the report of which would be sent to the Election Commission. It would then decide on whether to accept the nomination of a candidate.
She said nominees of political parties would formally become candidates only after their nomination was accepted and that if there were any violations of code on their side till then, those violations would go into the account of their respective political parties.
Some of the representatives informed the Collector about certain violations such as cement benches built by one political party and the name of the candidate and the symbol of the party clearly carved and left open, hence influencing voters. They urged the Collector to ensure the benches were covered, plastered or relocated from their locations immediately.
Some of them were worried about statues of political leaders left open and some about writings on walls. The Collector gave clarifications about every concern raised in the meeting.
Media persons, especially electronic media, were asked to apply for media certification so that all the political ads appearing in the media were first checked and then approved by the MCMC committee, the office of which is located in all district headquarters.
Talking about paid news, Sweta Mohanty said the objective was to monitor election expenditure and that the committee would adhere to the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court on identifying paid news.
She said flying squads and surveillance teams were formed to respond swiftly about violation of the code of moral conduct and that a separate team was formed to monitor social media under the EDM.
She appealed to the people of Wanaparthy district to use C-Vigil to record and report poll code violations and asked political party representatives to give it in writing about violations so that follow-up could be more effective.