Free Vaccine as Poll Promise and Model Code of Conduct

There was a furore over the issue of misuse of powers by the central government during the pandemic for political gains and therefore the opposition parties in India demanded an action by Election Commission. Election commission of India in a response to a complaint by the Right to Information (RTI) told that the BJP’s assurance to provide free Corona virus vaccine in its manifesto for the Bihar assembly elections is not the violation of the principles of model code.. The Election Commission has also given the reference of certain set of rules for the election manifesto in part VIII of the Model Code of Conduct to support its verdict. The Election commission has given the reference of the Directive Principles of the State Policy (DPSP) from the constitution of India that says the state has the right to make various welfare measures for the citizens and there cannot be any disapproval for these kinds of promises in election manifesto.

What is the Model Code of Conduct?

Model Code of Conduct is the guidelines drafted by the Election Commission of India for the conduct of candidates and political parties at the time of elections. It ensures free and fair elections and is regarding the speeches, election manifestos, polling booths as well as general conduct. It ensures that the political parties in power at the centre as well as at the state level do not misuse the position and authority. It comes into force immediately on the announcement of election dates by the Election Commission. These set of rules are framed to avoid the corrupt practices during elections. The Model Code of Conduct is evolved with the consensus of the political parties.

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