Before the start of every election rally, the headman of Mawlynnong, which is often referred to as Asia’s ‘cleanest’ village, announces a code of conduct for the parties and candidates. He tells them: “You must maintain cleanliness and tell your partymen not to make the village dirty.”

The villagers have banned poll posters. From children to the elderly, every person can be seen picking up every bit of trash and dropping it in cone-shaped bamboo baskets kept on bamboo stands at various locations. Politicos dare not ignore the code. They know that littering may cost them votes.

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