NEW DELHI: The Election Commission of India (ECI), the country’s apex poll body, is steadfast in its decision to restrict poll campaigning beyond 6 pm as the silence period takes effect. This decision has implications even for Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Despite Singh’s rally being scheduled for 5:30 pm, the ECI has written to Madhya Pradesh’s Chief Electoral Officer, instructing that no campaigning be allowed after 6 pm.
This action was taken promptly following a complaint by the Congress party to the ECI. The complaint highlighted an advertisement in a newspaper, indicating that Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan would address the “brothers and sisters” of the state at 5:30 pm on Wednesday after Bhai Dooj (a Hindu festival).
A post on the microblogging site X, by the BJP, read, “Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will interact with the brothers and sisters of Madhya Pradesh on Bhai Dooj at 5.30 pm.”
बहनें बनें लखपति,
किसान को मिले पसीने की पूरी कीमत,
युवा भी हों समृद्ध;
यही है संकल्प हमारा…
— Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) November 15, 2023
According to Section 126(1)(b), during the 48 hours before polling, known as the silence period, no person shall display any election matter to the public using a cinematograph, television, or similar apparatus in any polling area.
Madhya Pradesh is scheduled to go to the polls on November 17, covering all its 230 assembly seats in a single phase.