Except BSP, most parties oppose EC move to check freebie promises
The Election Commission's bid to have regulation on freebies in manifestos was resisted by most political parties, except BSP, on the ground that it would undermine the constitutional validity of the Indian democratic system.delhi Updated: Aug 13, 2013 01:22 IST
The Election Commission's bid to have in manifestos was resisted by most political parties, except BSP, on the ground that it would undermine the constitutional validity of the Indian democratic system.
The commission on Monday held consultation with six national parties and 25 regional parties on the Supreme Court's direction to regulate party manifestos and bring them under the ambit of model code of conduct. The court had wanted some sort of restriction on freebies announced by parties before elections, thereby disturbing level playing field.
The parties including Congress and BJP resisted the EC move saying that freebies in manifestos do not disturb the level playing field as claimed by the commission in an affidavit to SC. "People are the best judge of the promises made. If a particular party cannot deliver a promise, people will not vote for that party," a senior leader who participated in the meeting said.
Other parties raised Constitutional validity of regulating manifestos when it allowed an elected government to spend any amount of money for public purpose. They said that the EC was undermining the collective political wisdom of the electorate and raising question mark over the democratic process.
Samajwadi Party, Akali Dal, JD(U), NCP and Lok Janshakti Party too opposed the move.
BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra sought a ban on announcing freebies by parties ahead of polls as voters can be lured by such promises of allurements which may not be implemented later.
The commission expects to take a call on by end of this month.