Q1) Whether hoardings/advertisements etc. depicting the achievements of the party(s) in power at Centre/State Governments at the cost of public exchequer can be continued?
No. All such hoardings, advertisements etc. on display shall be removed forthwith by the concerned authorities. Further, no advertisements should be issued in the newspapers and other media including electronic media at the cost of public exchequer.
Q2) Whether a Minister or any other authority can sanction grants/ payments out of discretionary funds?
No. Ministers and other authorities shall not sanction grants/payments out of discretionary funds from the time elections are announced.
Q3) Suppose work order has been issued in respect of a scheme or a programme. Can it be started after the announcement of election programme?
Work shall not be started in respect of which work order has been issued before announcement of election but the work has actually not started in the field. If a work has actually started in the field that can be continued.
Q4) Whether fresh release of funds under MPs/MLAs/MLCs Local Area Development Fund of any scheme can be made?
No. Fresh release of funds under MPs/MLAs/MLCs Local Area Development Fund of any scheme shall not be made in any area where election is in progress, till the completion of the election process
Q5) Whether a Minister or any other authority can announce any financial grants in any form or promises thereof or lay foundation stones etc. of projects or schemes of any kinds etc.?
No. Ministers and other authorities shall not announce any financial grants in any form or promises thereof; or (except civil servants) lay foundation stones etc. of projects or schemes of any kind; or make any promise of construction of roads, provision of drinking water facilities etc. or make any ad-hoc appointments in Government, Public Undertakings etc. In such case, senior Govt. officer may lay foundation stone etc. without involving any political functionary.
Q6) A budget provision has been made for a particular scheme or the scheme has been sanctioned earlier. Can such a scheme be announced or inaugurated?
No. Inauguration/announcement of such scheme is prohibited during election period.
Q7) Is there any bar to release of payments for completed work?
There shall be no bar to the release of payments for completed work subject to the full satisfaction of the concerned officials.
Q8) How the Govt. may meet the emergency situation or unforeseen calamities, when there are restrictions for announcing welfare measures?
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., Govt. may do so after obtaining prior approval of the Commission and all ostentatious functions shall be strictly avoided and no impression shall be given or allowed to be created that such welfare measures or relief and rehabilitation works are being undertaken by the Government in office with any ulterior motive.
Q9) Whether financial institutions funded, partially or wholly by the Governments can write off loans advanced to any individual, company, firm, etc.?
No. The financial institutions funded, partially or wholly by the Government shall not take recourse to writing off loans advanced to any individual, company, firm, etc. Also, financial limits of such institutions, while granting or extending loans, should not be enhanced by issuing of loans indiscriminately to beneficiaries.
Q10) Whether meeting of Municipal Corporation, Nagar Panchayat, Town Area Committee, etc. can be convened to review the revenue collection and preparing draft annual budget etc.?
Yes. Provided that at such meetings only the matters of routine nature relating to day-to-day administration may be taken up and not the matters relating to its policies and programmes.
Q11) Whether political functionaries can participate in the celebration of “Sadbhavna Diwas” which is celebrated throughout the country?
The Central Ministers / Chief Minister / Ministers in the States and other political functionaries can participate in the celebration of “Sadbhavna Diwas” subject to condition that the “theme” of their speeches should be confined only to the promotion of harmony among the people’ and no political speech should be made. Messages, if any, issued in the name of Minister should be confined to the theme of national integration only and should carry no photograph of the concerned Minister.
Q12) Whether State-level functions can be held for observance of Martyrdom of Martyrs which may be presided/attended to by Chief Minister / Minister?
Yes. Provided that the speeches of the Chief Minister and other Ministers should restrict to the Martyrdom of the Martyrs and praising them. No political speech or speech enumerating or referring to the achievements of the Government or party in power should be made.
Q13) Whether Kavi Sammelan, Mushiaras or other cultural functions can be organized in connection with the Independence Day/Republic Day celebration and whether political functionaries can attend the same?
Yes. The Central Ministers / Chief Minister / Ministers in the States and other political functionaries can attend the programme. However, it will be ensured that no political speeches highlighting the achievements of the party in power are made on the occasions.
Q14) Whether political advertisements can be printed on the back side of the bus-ticket of Govt. owned buses?
Q15) Whether State Govt. can seek clarification/ clearance/approval in respect of any proposal directly from the Election Commission?
No. Any proposal from State Govt. for seeking clarification/clearance/approval from the Election Commission should only be routed through Chief Electoral Officer, who will make his recommendation or otherwise in the matter.
Q16) What are the main guidelines for political parties/candidates while making election campaign?
During the election campaign, no party or candidate shall indulge in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic. Further, criticism of other political parties, when made, shall be confined to their policies and programme, past record and work. Parties and candidates shall refrain from criticism of all aspects of private life, not connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers of other parties. Criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations or distortion shall be avoided.
Q17) Are there any restrictions in using religious places for election propaganda?
Yes. Religious places like Temple, Mosque, Church, Gurudwara or other places of worship shall not be used as forum for election propaganda. Further, there shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes.
Q18) Can a candidate go to the office of Returning Officer for filing a nomination with a procession?
No. The maximum number of vehicles that will be allowed to come within the periphery of 100 mtrs. of Returning Officer’s office has been restricted to 3 and maximum number of persons that will be allowed to enter the office of Returning Officer has been limited to 5 (including the candidate).
Q19) How many persons are allowed at the time of scrutiny of nominations by the Returning Officer?
The candidate, his election agent, one Proposer and one other person (who can be an advocate) duly authorized in writing by the candidate, but no other person, may attend at the time fixed for scrutiny of nominations by Returning Officer.
(Refer: Sec. 36 (1) of Representation of People Act, 1951)
Q20) Are there any guidelines regarding the use of vehicles by ministers/political functionaries/candidates, who have been provided security cover by the State?
Yes. In respect of persons covered by security, the use of State owned one bullet proof vehicle for the particular person (PP) will be permitted in all cases where the security agencies, including the intelligence authorities, have prescribed such use. The use of multiple cars in the name of stand-by should not be permitted unless specifically prescribed by security authorities. The cost of propulsion of such bullet proof vehicles where such use of bullet proof vehicles is specified will be borne by the particular person. The number of vehicles to accompany the carcade including pilots, escorts etc. will be strictly in accordance with the instructions laid down by the security authorities and shall not exceed them under any circumstances. The cost of propulsion of all such vehicles, whether owned by Government or hired vehicles, will be met by the State Government.
The restrictions do not apply to the Prime Minister whose security requirements are governed by the Government’s Blue Book.
Q21) Whether there is any restriction for plying of vehicles for electioneering purposes?
Candidate can ply any number of vehicles (all mechanized/motorized vehicles including two- wheelers) for the purpose of election campaign but he has to seek prior approval of the Returning Officer for plying such vehicles and must display permit issued by Returning Officer in original (not photocopy) prominently on the windscreen of the Vehicle. The permit must bear the number of the vehicle and the name of the candidate in whose favour it is issued.
Q22) Whether a vehicle for which permission has been taken for election campaign in the name of a candidate, can be used for election campaign by another candidate?
No. Use of such vehicle for election campaign by another candidate shall invite action under section 171H of Indian Penal Code.
Q23) Can a vehicle be used for electioneering purposes without getting a permit from the District Election Officer/Returning Officer?
No. Such vehicle shall be deemed to be unauthorized for campaigning by the candidate and may attract penal provisions of Chapter IX A of the Indian Penal Code and shall therefore be immediately out of the campaigning exercise and shall not be used for further campaign.
Q24) Whether there is any restriction on the use of educational institutions including their grounds (whether Govt. aided, Private or Govt.) for political campaigns and rallies?
The Commission has allowed the use of school and college grounds (except in the States of Punjab and Haryana where there is an express prohibition from Punjab and Haryana High Court) for political usage provided that:
- School and college academic calendar is not disturbed under any circumstances.
- The school/college management has no objection for this purpose and prior permission for such campaigning is obtained from the school/college Management as well as Sub Divisional Officer.
- Such permission is granted on first-come-first served basis and no political party is allowed to monopolize the use of those grounds.
- There is no order/direction of any court prohibiting the use of any such premises/ground.
- Any violation in the allotment of school/college grounds for political meetings will be viewed seriously by the Commission. The accountability in this regard lies with the Sub Divisional Officer, and
- The political parties and candidates and campaigners shall take care to ensure that the above norms are not violated.
If such grounds are utilized for campaigning purpose it should be returned to the authority concerned, without any damage or with the requisite compensation for the damage caused, if any. The political party/parties restoring back the campaign ground to the concerned school/college authority should be responsible for the payment of such compensation, if any
Q25) Is there any restriction or use of rest houses, dak bungalows or other Govt. accommodation for campaign office or for holding any public meeting for the purpose of election propaganda?
Yes. Rest houses, dak bungalows or other Govt. accommodation shall not be monopolized by the party in power or its candidates and such accommodation shall be allowed to use by other parties and candidates but no party or candidate shall be allowed to use as campaign office.
Further, it shall be ensured that –
Q26) Are there any conditions for getting Govt aircraft/helicopters (including Public Sector Undertakings) by political parties/candidates?
- no functionary can use the Circuit House, Dak bungalow to set up campaign office as the Circuit Houses/Dak bungalows are only for temporary stay (boarding and lodging) during transit of such functionaries,
- even casual meeting by Members of political parties inside the premises of the Government owned guesthouse etc. are not permitted and any violation of this shall be deemed to be a violation of the Model Code of Conduct,
- only the vehicle carrying the person allotted accommodation in the guest house and not more than two other vehicles, if used by the person, will be permitted inside the compound of the Guest House,
- rooms should not be made available for more than 48 hours to any single individual, and
- 48 hours before the close of poll in any particular area, there will be a freeze on such allocations till completion of poll or re-poll.
Yes. While allowing the chartering of Govt. aircrafts/helicopters to political parties/candidates or private companies etc., the following conditions should be followed:-
Q27) Is there any restriction on displaying posters, placards, banners, flags etc. of the party concerned or the candidate on a public property?
- There should be no discrimination between the ruling party on the one hand and the other parties and contesting candidates on the other.
- The payment will be made by the political parties or the contesting candidates and proper record maintained.
- The rates and terms and conditions should be uniform for all.
- The actual allotment should be made on a first-come first-served basis. For this purpose, the date and time of receipt of the application should be noted down by the authorized receiving authority.
- In the rare case when both the date and time of two or more applicants is the same, the allotment will be decided by a draw of lots.
- No individual, firm, party or candidate will be allowed to charter the aircraft/helicopter for more than three days at a time.
Candidate may display posters, placards, banners, flags etc. of the party concerned or the candidate on a public property subject to the provisions of local law and prohibitory orders in force. For details, refer Commission’s instructions No.3/7/2008/JS-II, dated 7.10.2008 and No. 437/6/Campaign/ECI/INST/FUNCT/MCC-2016 dated 04.01.2017.
Q28) If local law/bye-laws permit wall writings and pasting of posters, putting up hoardings, banners etc. on private premises/properties, is it necessary to obtain prior written permission from the owner of the premises/properties?
Yes. Candidate is required to obtain prior written permission from the owner of the properties/premises and photocopy(ies) of such permission should be submitted within 3 days to the Returning Officer or an officer designated by him for the purpose.
Q29) Is there any restriction on displaying/carrying poster/ placard/ banner/flag of the party concerned or of the candidate on the vehicle during the procession?
The maximum permissible number and size of flags/banners by a party or candidate on a vehicle during procession is as follows-
Q30) Whether there is any ban on the use of plastic sheets for making use of posters/banners during the election campaign?
- Two wheelers – one flag of maximum size 1X1/2 ft. No banners are allowed. One or two stickers of appropriate size are allowed.
- Three wheelers, four wheelers, e-Rickshaws – No banners are allowed. Only one flag of maximum size 3X2 ft. One or two stickers of appropriate size are allowed.
- If a political party has a pre-poll alliance/seat sharing arrangement with another party, then the vehicle of a candidate/political party may display one flag each of such parties.
The political parties and candidates should try to avoid the use of plastic/polythene for preparation of posters, banners etc. in the interest of environmental protection.
Q31) Is there any restriction on the printing of pamphlets, posters etc.?
Candidate shall not print or publish, or cause to be printed or published any election pamphlet or poster which does not bear on its face names and addresses of the printer and the publisher thereof.
(Refer : Section 127A of Representation of 1951)
Q32) Is wearing of special accessories like cap, mask, scarf etc. of a candidate permitted during the campaigning?
Yes. provided they are accounted for in the election expenses of the candidate concerned. However, supply and distribution of main apparels like saree, shirt, etc. by party/candidate is not permitted as it may amount to bribery of voters.
Q33) Whether there is restriction to display to the public any election matter by means of cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus?
Yes. Candidate can not display to the public any election matter by means of cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for the conclusion of poll.
Q34) Whether distribution of printed “Stepney Covers” or other similar material containing symbol of party/candidate or without depicting it, is a violation?
Yes. In case, it is established that such material has been distributed, a complaint may be filed before the area Magistrate by District Administration against the distribution of the said material under section 171 B of the IPC.
Q35) Are there conditions/guidelines for setting up and operating of Temporary Offices by Party or candidate?
Yes. Such offices can not be opened by way of any encroachment either on public or private property/ in any religious places or campus of such religious places/ contiguous to any educational institution / hospital / within 200 meters of an existing polling station. Further, such offices can display only one party flag and banner with party symbol/photographs and the size of the banner used in such offices should not exceed ‘4 feet X 8 feet’ subject to the further condition that if the local laws prescribe a lower size for banner / hoarding etc., then the lower size prescribed by local law shall prevail.
Q36) Is there any restriction on the presence of political functionaries in a constituency after campaign period is over?
Yes. After the closure of campaign period (starting from 48 Hrs. before closure of poll), political functionaries etc. who have come from outside the constituency and who are not voters of the constituency should not continue to remain present in the constituency. Such functionaries should leave the constituency immediately after campaign period is over. This will not apply in the case of candidate or his election agent even if they are not voters in the constituency.
Q37) Whether there is any restriction for holding public meeting or taking out processions?
Yes. Prior written permission should be obtained from the concerned police authorities for holding of a meeting at any public or private place and for taking out processions.
Q38) Whether loudspeakers can be used for public meetings or for processions or for general propaganda without obtaining permission from Police authorities?
No. Prior written permission should be obtained from the concerned police authorities for using loudspeakers.
Q39) Whether there is any time limit for using loudspeakers?
Yes. Loudspeaker can not be used at night between 10.00 P.M. and 6.00 A.M.
Q40) What is the deadline after which no public meetings and processions can be taken out?
Public meetings cannot be held after 10 PM and before 6.00 AM. Further, Candidate can not hold public meetings and processions during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for the conclusion of poll. Suppose, poll day is 15th July and hours of poll are from 8.00 A.M to 5.00 P.M., then the public meetings and processions shall be closed at 5.00 P.M on the 13th July.
(Refer: Sec. 126 of Representation of People Act, 1951)
Q41) Whether there are any guidelines for political parties/candidates for issue of unofficial identity slips to voters?
Yes. The unofficial identity slip, on white paper, shall contain only the particulars of the voter i.e. name, Serial number of voters, part No. in the electoral roll, s.no. and name of Polling Station and date of Poll. It should not contain the name of candidate, his photograph and symbol.
Q42) Is there any restriction on appointment of a Minister/M.P./M.L.A/M.L.C or any other person who is under security cover as an Election Agent/Polling Agent/Counting Agent?
Yes. A candidate cannot appoint a Minister/M.P./ MLA/MLC or any other person who is under security cover, as an election/polling agent/counting agent, as his personal security shall be jeopardized with such appointment, because his security personnel will not under any circumstances be permitted to accompany him into the 100 meter perimeter of polling stations described as the “Polling Station Neighbourhood” and within the polling booth and campus of counting centre and within the counting centre. Also any person having security cover will not be allowed to surrender his security cover to act as such agent of a candidate.
Q43) Who is the authority to issue permits to Star Campaigners (Leaders) of the Political Parties who avail benefit under Section 77(1) of R.P Act, 1951?
In case the mode of road transport is to be availed of by Star Campaigners (Leaders) of political, the permit will be issued centrally by the Chief Electoral Officer. If such party applies for issue of permit for the same vehicle to be used by any leader for election campaigning throughout the State, the same may be issued for such vehicle centrally by the Chief Electoral Officer, which will be prominently displayed on the windscreen of such vehicle(s) to be used by concerned leader(s). If different vehicles are to be used by such party leaders in different areas, then the permit can be issued against the name of the person concerned who will display it prominently on the windscreen of the vehicle being used by such leader.
Q44) Whether Opinion poll or Exit poll can be conducted, published, publicized or disseminated at any time?
No. The result of any opinion poll or exit poll conducted shall not be published, publicized or disseminated in any manner by print, electronic or any other media, at any time-
Q45) Is it necessary to obtain written permission of the concerned Government authorities or local authorities for setting up of election booth?
- during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for closing of poll in an election held in a single phase; and
- in a multi-phased election, and in the case of elections in difference States announced simultaneously, at any time during the period starting from 48 hours before the hour fixed for closing of poll in the first phase of the election and till the poll is concluded in all the phases in all States.
Yes. It is necessary to obtain the written permission of the Government authorities concerned or local authorities before setting up of such booths. Written permission must be available with the persons manning the booth for production before the police /election authorities concerned on demand.
Q46) Is there any restriction of canvassing in or near polling station?
Yes. Canvassing for votes etc. within a distance of one hundred meters of polling station is prohibited on the day of poll.
(Refer : Section 130 of Representation of 1951)
Q47) Is there any restriction of going armed to or near polling station?
Yes. No person is allowed to go armed with arms as defined in Arms Act 1959 of any kind within the neighbourhood of a polling station on the day of poll.
(Refer: Section 134B of Representation of 1951)
Q48) How many vehicles a candidate is entitled for on the day of poll?
(i) For an election to the House of the People, a candidate will be entitled to:
- One vehicle for candidate’s own use in respect of the entire constituency. One vehicle for use of candidate’s election agent for entire constituency.
- In addition, one vehicle for use of candidate’s workers or party workers, as the case may be, in each of the assembly segments comprised in the Parliamentary Constituency.
(ii) For an election to the State Legislative Assembly, a candidate will be entitled to:
Q49) If the candidate is absent from the constituency on the day of poll, can the vehicle allotted in his name be used by any other person?
- One vehicle for candidate’s own use
- One vehicle for use of candidate’s election agent
- In addition, one vehicle for use of candidate’s workers or party workers.
No. Vehicle allotted for candidate’s use is not allowed to be used by any other person.
Q50) Can any type of entitled vehicle be used on the day of poll?
No. The candidate or his agent or party workers or workers will be allowed to use only four/three/two wheeler vehicles i.e. cars (of all types), taxis, auto rickshaws, rickshaws and two wheelers. In these vehicles not more than five persons including drivers are allowed to move on the day of poll.
Q51) Whether Political Party/Candidate can make arrangements for transporting voters to and from Polling Station?
No. Any arrangement, direct or indirect, to carry any voter to or from polling station by any kind of vehicle used for transport is a criminal offence.
(Refer: Sec. 133 of Representation of People Act, 1951)
Q52) Can a leader of Political party use private fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters for the purposes of supervising and monitoring the polling and counting process on the day of poll and counting?
No. Leader of a political party is not allowed to use private fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters for the purposes of supervising and monitoring the polling and counting process on the day of poll and counting.