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Election Commission fixes the outer limit for release of party manifestos

The Election Commission on Saturday fixed the outer limit for the release of party manifestos, under the Model Code of Conduct, putting a prohibition of 48 hours before polling.

The EC had, through letters dated January 22 and February 9, circulated a proposal among the recognised national and State parties for fixing a timeline on the release of manifestos.

“Having considered the suggestions and comments received from political parties, the Commission has fixed a timeline…which has now been included as para-no. 4 under Part-VIII [Guidelines on Election Manifestos] in the Model Code of Conduct,” said the order.

For each phase

“In case of single phase election, manifesto shall not be released during the prohibitory period, as prescribed under Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act,” it said.

During multi-phase polls, as will be the case in the Lok Sabha elections, the 48-hour restriction will apply before each polling date.

In a multi-phased poll, the silence period of last 48 hours may be on in certain constituencies while campaign is ongoing in other constituencies.

“In such event, there should not be any direct or indirect reference amounting to soliciting support for parties or candidates in the constituencies observing the silence period,” the EC had earlier said.

The Commission also said during the silence period, star campaigners and other political leaders should refrain from addressing the media by way of press conferences and giving interviews on election matters.

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