Different Ministries of the Central Government have possibly infringed the Model Code of Conduct


Shri Rajiv Kumar, Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commission of India (ECI)

Shri A C Pandey, Election Commissioner, Election Commission of India (ECI)

Shri Arun Goel, Election Commissioner, Election Commission of India (ECI)

Dear S/Shri Rajiv Kumar/ Pandey/ Goel,

The Department of Personnel, vide F.no. 1-28047/8/2023 dated 17-10-2023 seemed to have instructed all Ministries to nominate senior officers as “District Rath Praharis” under their purview to “showcase/celebrate achievements of the NDA government during the last nine years through “Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra” from 20th November 2023 to 25th January 2024″, overlapping the schedule of the State Assembly elections. I understand that several Ministries have issued instructions based on it. 

For example, CBDT issued a communication on 18-10-2023 based on the above-referred letter. There have been reports on the Defence Ministry also issuing instructions to its officers (https://government.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/defence-ministry-asks-army-to-create-selfie-points-to-showcase-govt-schemes/104482005). It is a matter of serious concern that officers of the Defence Forces should be mis-deployed for showcasing the NDA government’s achievements. It may not be appropriate in the long run.

To the best of my knowledge, the above instructions were issued when the Model Code of Conduct had already come into force and, as such, they amount to its brazen infringement, as they place the NDA government at an advantage vis-a-vis the political parties in opposition, amounting to misuse of government machinery for activity that will influence elections.

I therefore request you to direct the Central government to revoke the above instructions forthwith and also impose a deterrent penalty on the parties involved in such an MCC violation.


Yours sincerely,

E A S Sarma

Former Secretary to the Government of India


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