New Delhi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has come up with a set of guidelines that the political parties should follow. In terms of the election campaign, an important component of the ECI rules is the ‘Silence Period’. Thus the duty of the ECI is to keep a close check on parties that violate the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). Recently, many politicians have been barred from taking part in the election campaigns due to their inflammatory speeches and derogatory remarks.

(Full coverage link of Lok Sabha Polls)

Here is all you need to know about the Silence Period imposed by the ECI: 

  • The ‘Silence Period’ is basically a ban imposed by the ECI which prevents political parties from engaging in election campaigning prior to voting.
  • This period gives time for the voters to decide peacefully before casting their vote.
  • The silence period begins 48 hours prior to the voting day and comes to a conclusion after the end of polling. In the multi-phased poll, this silence period of the last 48 hours may be on in certain constituencies while the campaign is ongoing in other constituencies. In such an event, there shouldn’t be reference amounting to soliciting support for parties or candidates in seats observing silence period.
  • Political parties, its star campaigners and other political leaders are barred from active campaigning during this period. They must refrain from sharing election-related news during this period and should not attend press conferences or give election-related interviews.
  • The party members cannot campaign through television or any kind of digital media.
  • Print media is however exempt from this silence period rule.
  • The provisions of Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 does not allow any activities of election campaigning conducted via public meetings, processions and sharing election-related matter through television and related medium of communication.
  • The ECI also mandates that any kind of violation of the set rules must be reported to the commission.
  • Notably, private Facebook accounts that advocates a party does not come under the purview of violation of Section 126.

The election silence is observed for a period of 48 hours until the conclusion of the poll in India, as per Section 126 of the Representation of People Act, 1951.  The purpose of the guidelines and prohibitions is to grant a period of tranquil also known as the silence period for the electors before the voting day.

(With agency inputs)