Assembly Elections 2021: Model Code comes into force

Assembly Elections 2021: Model Code of Conduct comes into force

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora (C) with Election Commissioners Sushil Chandra (L) and Rajiv Kumar addresses a press conference in New Delhi. Credit: PTI.

The Election Commission of India on Friday announced the dates for Assembly elections and by-elections to four states and one Union Territory (Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala, West Bengal and Puducherry).

While announcing the dates for the election, outgoing Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Arora also announced that the Model Code of Conduct is in effect as of Friday.

The MCC is a set of rules put in force by the Election Commission of India to guarantee free and fair elections. It is a set of norms that have evolved with political parties consenting to abide by the principles embodied in the said code.

The elections for the states will begin on March 27. The counting of all the Assembly elections will take place on May 2.

A total of 824 Assembly constituencies shall be going for polls during these elections. 18.68 crore electors will cast vote at 2.7 lakh polling stations in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry.

The term of Assam Assembly is up to May 31, that of Tamil Nadu is May 24. The term of West Bengal Assembly ends on May 30 and that of Kerala Assembly ends on June 1. Puducherry is currently under President's Rule.

Read | Election FAQs: What is the Model Code of Conduct?

During the enforcement period of the MCC, governments and political parties face the following restrictions:

1. Ministers cannot combine their official visit with electioneering work. They can also not make use of official machinery or personnel during electioneering.

2. No transport including official aircraft, vehicles, etc. can be used for the furtherance of the interest of any party or a candidate.

3. A total ban on transfer and posting of all officers/officials directly or indirectly connected with the conduct of the election is put in effect. If any transfer or posting of an officer is considered necessary, prior approval of the Commission must be obtained.

4. No Minister, whether of Union or State, can summon any election-related officer of the constituency or the State for any official discussions anywhere.

5. If a Union Minister is travelling out of Delhi on purely official business, which cannot be avoided in the public interest, then a letter certifying to this effect must be sent from the concerned Secretary of the Ministry/Department to the Chief Secretary of the concerned State, along with a copy to the Election Commission.


6. Advertisements regarding the achievements of the party at the cost of public exchequer in print and electronic media and the misuse of official mass media are prohibited.

7. If an order has been issued by the States or the Union government with respect to any scheme but no work has begun till the MCC is in force, then no work shall be started in that respect. However, if work has actually started in the field, that can be continued.

8. No fresh release of funds under MPs/MLAs/MLCs Local Area Development Fund of any scheme can be made in any area where the election is in progress, till the completion of the election.

9. Financial institutions funded, partially or wholly by the Governments shall not take recourse to write off loans advanced to any individual, company, firm, etc. Also, the financial limits of such institutions, while granting or extending loans, should not be enhanced by issuing of loans indiscriminately to beneficiaries.

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