The Election Commission on Saturday barred political parties from releasing election manifestos in the last 48 hours before any voting day in multi-phase elections, PTI reported. The upcoming Lok Sabha elections will be held in seven phases.
In an amended Model Code of Conduct, the Election Commission said: “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 1951. In case of multi-phase elections, manifesto shall not be released during the prohibitory periods, as prescribed under Section 126 of the RP Act of all the phases of those elections.”
Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act 1951 is the basis of the 48-hour “silent period”, in which election campaign is prohibited before the voting day. The release of election manifestos was not covered under this earlier.
The Bharatiya Janata Party had released its manifesto for the 2014 General Elections on the first day of voting, according to PTI.
Voting to elect the 17th Lok Sabha will take place in seven phases between April 11 and May 19, and the votes will be counted on May 23. The seven days of voting are April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19.