Indian elections are not just a process of electing our representatives, but also a sacred ritual of democracy and a nation-wide celebration. However, elections have also presented challenges due to misuse of government resources by ruling parties, money power, muscle power, and so on.
In this respect, the Election Commission has laid down a set of moral, ethical and practical set of guidelines (known as MCC) to be followed by all political parties.
The benefits of MCC are:
- Provides level playing field between political parties not in power and political parties in power.
- Ensures that party in power does not misuse public assets such as cars, funds, officials, media etc. to its own benefit during elections.
- Helps in reducing controversies during elections so that people’s focus remains on core issues such as poverty, education, infrastructure etc.
It is not legally enforceable, and is only a moral agreement between parties. Hence, it can be easily violated without consequences.
A further step to make some of the provisions of MCC legally enforceable. For example, in France and USA, it is mandatory for political parties to not use any public funds or resources, otherwise they face disqualification from elections.
Despite its shortcomings, MCC remains an important tool and above all it is an ethical benchmark that promotes the vision of our constitution and democracy.