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Behave or face action, Election Commission tells parties

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New Delhi, Nov 28:

The Election Commission Thursday issued a notice to all political parties campaigning for the assembly polls asking them to maintain “high standards of electoral campaigning” or face action.

Election Commission of India In the two-page letter sent to all recognized national and state political parties campaigning in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram and Chhattisgarh, the poll panel took note of the “progressively plummeting levels of political discourse” and said that the matter was of “serious concern and deep anguish for the commission”.

“The burgeoning tide of complaints and counter complaints received are indicative of the fact that mouthing of provocative and inflammatory statements calculated to cause mutual hatred, disharmony or ill-will,” it said.

“Use of intemperate and abusive language transgressing the limits of decency and attacks on the personal character and conduct of political rivals tend to incite mutual hatred and aggravates the differences which the model code of conduct dissuades from being resorted to.”

The EC recognized the freedom of speech and expression but said that it has to be exercised in such a manner that it does not transcend the boundaries of decency and morality or disturb public order.

“The commission is seized of petitions from two national parties seeking each other’s de-recognition for repeated violations of the model code of conduct,” said the EC.

“While the commission does not propose to take action at this stage, it puts all parties on notice that any repeated violations may invite action against the political parties.”  (IANS)