Imphal: Altogether 1765 wall writings, 16085 posters, 3215 banners have been removed for violation of Model Code of Conduct, said Nodal Officer, MCC Imphal West Pangambam Shantikumar.
He said till date a total of 31,015 cases have been recorded for defacement at public property including 1740 wall writing, 15045 posters, 3130 banners, and 11,100 others which have all been removed. Another 2012 cases have also been recorded for defacement on private property including 25 wall writings, 1040 posters, 85 banners, and 862 others, and all of these have also been removed, he added.
The Model Code of Conduct is a set of norms established in consensus by groups of political parties so that ruling parties, prominent parties or those having more resources do not take undue advantage through their positions and to ensure that there is a level playing field for all candidates during the conduct of elections, said the Nodal Officer.
Appealing to all including candidates, their agents, workers and the public to abide by the set guideline of the Model Code of Conduct and ensure smooth conduct of free and fair elections, he said, citizens can play a responsible role in the conduct of free and fair elections.
The MCC Team is also responsible to receive complaints through the cVIGIL app, a user-friendly application cVIGIL, introduced by the ECI to ease monitoring of any MCC violations, he continued. The cVIGIL app eases lodging complaints regarding any MCC/expenditure violations by the citizens and disposal of such complaints by the MCC team, he added.
Citizens can submit photos, videos of any MCC violation along with their location immediately on witnessing the violation through this app, he said, explaining further that location mapping of the complainant is very important while using this app. By using this app, the complainant will not have to visit the office physically to lodge his or her complaint, he added.
The cVIGIL was activated in the district since the day election was notified for the State on January 8, 2022. Altogether 138 cases have been received as of February 20 by the MCC Cell Imphal West, he said and added that, while 75 cases have been disposed, 63 cases have been dropped as these cases were found to be “Duplicate case, frivolous, non-violation of MCC and not related to election.”
Some common reasons found in the cVIGIL complaints, he said are posters/banners without permission, names and addresses of printer and publisher, installation of more than permitted number of banners/posters/flags in public places, money and gift distributions, campaigns and use of loudspeakers during silent period, etc.
Further elaborating on the utility of the app, the Nodal Officer said that once the complaint is received on the application, his team, which also include 39 Flying Squad Teams (FST), will get into action and assigned the case to the concerned FST to move directly to the location receive through the application. This ensures easy and fast disposal of MCC violation cases, however, if the complaint is found to be complex, a report will be submitted to the RO for necessary action, he said.
He continued that a report will also be sent to the concerned ROs even if the case has been disposed of by the MCC team.
Three FSTs, along with one vehicle are assigned for one Assembly Constituency each, he said adding that each FST is a five member team including three police personnel, one magistrate and a videographer. Another five vehicles are on reserve so that they can be used to reinforce any FST teams in the constituencies.
Other forms of complaints are also received by the MCC, he said, highlighting further that the cell has received 25 cases of written/telephonic all of which has been disposed of. The Cell has also received two Referred Complaints from Nodal Officer, MCMC and six from Nodal Officer Social Media all of which have also been disposed, he added.
The Nodal officer also said that his Cell with 10 members and the FSTs is putting their best efforts to address and dispose of all complaints and any sort of MCC violation in the district till date. He continued that his team is vigilant 24×7 in all 13 ACs in order to maintain the Model Code of Conduct and smooth conduct of the election.