GUWAHATI:  The Election Commission of India today regretted lack of uniform application of model code of conduct across states and said it needs to be more aggressive in implementation of rules and action against violators.

“We really regret if there is any lack in implementing the model code of conduct strictly. It is not uniform in application of model codes of conduct across all the states in the country,” Chief Election Commissioner HS Brahma said.

The implementation of the code of conduct should be uniform and strict, he added.

When pointed out that no action is usually taken except issuing a show cause notice to any violators of the rules, Mr Brahma said, “I agree that we need to be more aggressive. We would like to bring stronger actions. A notice needs to be followed by logical action.”

Stressing that the election watchdog needs to be more strict, he said the agency would ensure definite enforcement of the model code of conduct.

Talking about electoral reforms, the Chief Election Commissioner said that it must be carried out along with political reforms to get any positive result.

He expressed happiness that the Law Commission’s report had incorporated about 95 per cent of ECI’s suggestions and if the government accepted these, it would have a positive impact.

On paid news, Mr Brahma said, “I expect the media to maintain some discipline. It is a responsibility to give the true picture and bring out the best in the world. I don’t blame the media (journalists), but the management must be strict.”

Asked about political funding, he said there is no bar in taking donation from Indian individuals and companies, but no foreign funding was allowed except NRIs who legally were voters in this country.

“All political parties submit their balance sheets by September-October. If they do not, then we issue notices to them. Also, there is no need to mention the source of funding if the donation is less than Rs. 20,000,” he said.

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