With the code of conduct being enforced in the city prior to the civic polls on February 16, politicos must cut down on the populism and uphold the code guidelines, or face disqualification, at worst.

And you can be the one to ensure that they do that by being vigilant. MiD DAY brings you a compilation of dos and don'ts for politicos. If they fail to adhere to any of these norms or violate the guidelines, you can report the violation to your local ward office or the police station, after which suitable action would be taken against them.

Difficult days ahead: With code of conduct in place, shops selling
election paraphernalia are not doing brisk business.
Pic/Sameer Markande

Said Additional Municipal Commissioner (Elections In-charge) Aseem Gupta, "Although the code of conduct set by the election commission is the same as that during previous elections, we have kept a watch on what is happening around. Already, calls have begun pouring in wherein to lodge anonymous complaints about the wrongdoings in various areas. We act upon some of them, but some are baseless. We are implementing the code as best as we can and we would see to it that there is a minimal breach."

The code of conduct began on January 3 and the BMC has already removed 65 posters and flags from the city streets in keeping the code of conduct, which doesn't allow for more than 5 hoardings per candidate.

'Face the music'
Deputy Municipal Commissioner Sudhir Naik, said, "If any of the politicians or candidates try to break the rules or carry  out propaganda where prohibited, necessary action would  be taken and they can be
disqualified from the elections."

"We have to see the electronic or print material before clearing them. Earlier this week, we granted
permission to Shiv Sena for releasing a publicity CD in their meeting on Tuesday," said an official from the election department.

Can't do 
>> Politicians cannot announce any kind of project work, hold inaugurations, start any road or water works in the locality 
>>  Can't make any kind of donations to private institutions and organisations to influence voter opinion
>> Can't hold meetings or carry out propaganda at religious places
>> Can't criticise other political parties or politico 
>> Can't bribe, influence, threaten the voter 
>> Can't carry out propaganda within 100 meters of the election centres.
>> Must take BMC's permissions to install banners on vehicles used for propaganda
>> Can't put up hoardings and flags on city's main roads 
>> Can't use more than three vehicles for processions etc

Must do 
>> Candidates must inform the police and traffic officials about any kind of public meetings being held 
>> Tell the police the starting and end points of the processions and the entire route 
>> Take permissions for using loudspeakers 
>> Obtain NOC from landowner/society, collector and BMC to stick posters on private buildings
> Mention on the hoarding the name of the authority that permitted the hoarding and details of the permission

Complain here
If citizens spot any breach of the code of conduct guidelines before the upcoming elections, they can call BMC's helpline: 9225320011