Disclose All, Says Election Commission To Political Parties To Curb Freebies During Election

New Delhi: In a bid to curb freebies, the Election Commission on Tuesday told political parties to disclose the authentic financial implications of poll promises made to the voters. The Commission also sought the political parties’ views on the proposal by October 19.

Notably, the Supreme Court had recently intervened in the raging debate on the issue. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also cautioned people against what he described as “revdi culture”, taking a dig at the poll promises made by opposition parties.

The poll panel said it could not overlook inadequate disclosures on election promises and consequential undesirable impact on financial sustainability, The New Indian Express reported.

The proposed format for disclosure of election promises mandates declaration of quantification of physical coverage, financial implications of the promises and availability of the financial resources. In the letter, Narendra N Butolia, senior principal secretary, said:

“At the same time, the existing guidelines under the Model Code of Conduct require the political parties and candidates to explain the rationale for promises made therein as well as the possible ways and means to finance such promises; the Commission found that the declarations are pretty routine, ambiguous and do not provide adequate information to voters to exercise informed choice in elections.” The letter added that “declarations are also not submitted by most of the political parties in time.”

The form will include the declarations of the extent and expanse of coverage (example, individual, family, community, BPL, or all population, etc.; quantification of physical coverage; quantification of financial implications; availability of the financial resources; ways and means of raising resources, etc.

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