Millennium Post

‘Political parties shouldn’t promise freebies to voters’

The Supreme Court on Friday said distribution of freebies of any kind, undoubtedly, influences people and shakes the root of free and fair elections to a large degree. It directed the Election Commission of India (EC) to frame guidelines for regulating contents of manifestos as early as possible owing to its utmost importance. The court also recorded the need for a separate legislation to be passed by the legislature in this regard for governing the political parties in our democratic society.

A bench of Justice P Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that though the election manifesto is published before the code of conduct comes into force, EC can make an exception by bringing it within code of conduct.

AIADMK’s Jayalalithaa had promised items like grinders, electric fans and gold thalis to all ration card holders and even to those above the poverty line, while her predecessor DMK’s M Karunanidhi had also distributed freebies like television sets. 
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