• Election Commission of India (ECI) recently issued an advisory urging star campaigners to “maintain the dignity of the political discourse”.
  • ECI has advised all national and state political parties and their star campaigners to exercise caution and restraint in their utterances and remain within the provisions of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and exercise caution from saying anything that could vitiate the election’s atmosphere.

About Star campaigners

  • They are nominated by the concerned political parties specifying their constituencies and duration of the status.
  • There is no law governing who can or cannot be made a star campaigner.
  • List of star campaigners must be communicated to Chief Electoral Officer and ECI within a week from election notification date under section 77(1) of Representation of People Act (RPA), 1951.
  • A ‘recognised’ National or State party declared as such by the ECI can nominate a maximum of 40 star campaigners.
  • An unrecognised political party can nominate a maximum of 20 star campaigners.

About Model code of conduct

  • MCC is a set of guidelines laid down by Election Commission to govern the conduct of political parties and candidates in the run-up to an election.
  • The MCC is operational from the date on which the election schedule is announced until the date of result announcement.
  • MCC ensures that ruling party, either at Centre or in states, does not misuse its official position to gain an unfair advantage in an election.
  • MCC is not enforceable by law.
    • However certain provisions of the MCC may be enforced through invoking corresponding provisions in other statutes such as the Indian Penal Code 1860, Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, and Representation of the People Act 1951.
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