Shimla: In a move to conduct free and fair elections, the State Election Commissioners (SECs) have sought to declare the breach of model code of conduct as punishable offence.

Passing a proposal in this regard in the 15th conference of State Election Commissioners on Monday at Shimla, SECs of 23 states had advocated for implementation of stern legal action to check the misuse of money and use of muscle power during the elections.

SECs of all states except for Orissa, Punjab and Arunachal Pradesh attended the conference.

Talking to reporters, the Chief Election Commissioner of Himachal Pradesh, Dev Swarup, said the Centre should give funds for the Panchayat polls and the urban local bodies elections.

SECs said the violation of model code of conduct should be declared a punishable offence to maintain peace during the elections.

They also proposed a nodal ministry for setting up the coordination among the State Election Commissions and the Government of India.