AIADMK, DMK defend freebies, PMK, DMDK opposed

Chennai, Aug 12 (IANS) Defending freebies, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa said the Supreme Court's observation in the freebies case was not "appropriate to a large extent" as her AIADMK and rival DMK supported the practice while the PMK and DMDK opposed it.

She said it is only the people who should decide on the practicability of implementing poll promises and authorities like Election Commission should not be allowed to decide on such matters.

Replying to the poll panel's letter dated Aug 2, Jayalalithaa, in her letter written on Aug 10, the text of which was released to the media here Monday said: "In a democracy, political parties should be given the liberty to formulate their ideology, intention and programmes to be implemented when they come to power."

She said the people are at liberty to choose their representatives and the ideology which they desire.

The apex court in a case filed by city based advocate S.Subramaniam Balaji against freebies by the DMK and the AIADMK governments said: "..that distribution of freebies of any kind undoubtedly, influences all people. It shakes the root of free and fair elections to a large degree".

The apex court cited the affidavit filed by the Election Commission that the promise of such freebies at government cost disturbs the level playing field and vitiates the electoral process and expressed willingness to implement any directions or decision of the court in this regard.

The apex court had asked the poll panel to frame guidelines for manifestos in consultation with political parties and the latter had called a meeting of various political parties in Delhi to discuss the matter Monday.

Jayalalithaa said such guidelines or restrictions on political parties in respect of their manifestoes amounts to interfering the free and fair election process and also imposing restrictions on political parties on propagating their ideologies.

According to here, framing guidelines and restricting political parties from expressing their wish and vision through manifesto is not appropriate for a dynamic social order.

She also said the political parties should be free to release their manifesto as per their convenience.

Terming it as not apt to term social welfare measures by political parties are freebies, Jayalalithaa said the monetary and material assistance extended by the government through such schemes are necessary in an unequal society like India.

On the other hand, T.R.Baalu the leader of DMK in parliament, citing the poll panel's submission to the apex court, questioned the need for conducting an all party meeting.

According to Baalu, it is not necessary to bring any guidelines to prepare the election manifestos of the political parties over and above the existing "model code of conduct for the guidance of political parties and candidates".

On the other hand, PMK's representative R.K.R.Anantharaman, who attended the meeting, said freebies do not improve the living standards of the poor.

He said to finance the freebies, the Tamil Nadu government was increasing alcohol sales, thus adversely impacting the people's health.

"Last year alone, the sale of liquor and alcohol was to the tune of Rs.23,000 crore in Tamil Nadu. The consumption of liquor and alcohol causes various health hazards," Anantharaman said.

He said in the current fiscal, the Tamil Nadu government has allocated Rs.45,176 crore towards freebies and subsidies.

"As certain subsidies are very essential, most of the subsidies are only making the common man lazy and not hard working. Except those which are given to students, the rest of the subsidies are not going to fetch any returns, as they are not ideal investments," he told the Election Commission.

The DMDK, opposing the freebies, suggested the poll panel seek a review of the judgment before the apex court.

In a submission to the Election Commission, DMDKchief A.Vijayakant also urged it to take action against all political parties which had announced freebies in the recently held assembly elections as per the provisions of Representation of Peoples Act.

The AIADMK government is handing out free laptops, mixers, grinders and other things to the poor; the earlier DMK government in the state gave away free colour television sets.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

IPL 7, GAME 10—Chennai beat Rajasthan by 7 runs after last-over scare. More »

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

... because, as recent events reveal, the BCCI has little intention of doing it. More »

Hope to be fit for next game - Kevin Pietersen

Hope to be fit for next game - Kevin Pietersen

With two heavy defeats at the hands of Bangalore and Chennai, Daredevils currently languish near the bottom of the table. More »

Chandimal axed as T20 captain, Malinga takes over

Chandimal axed as T20 captain, Malinga takes over

Sri Lanka's cricket selectors on Wednesday sacked Dinesh Chandimal as Twenty20 captain and replaced him with Lasith Malinga, while Angelo Mathews was… More »

'A blow to BCCI, could hurt autonomous status'

'A blow to BCCI, could hurt autonomous status'

The Supreme Court prefers that the Justice Mudgal panel further investigate the IPL corruption scandal. More »

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Money talks, but it is in light of this ICC shakeup that the ECB's act of soliciting of another team's coach deteriorates from free-market aggression to… More »

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

IPL7, GAME 9—Maxwell (95, 43b), Balaji (4-13) set up 72-run win. More »

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

The Mukul Mudgal probe committee dropped a bombshell in the Supreme Court on Tuesday by making a sensational claim that it was forced to stop audio recording… More »

Farbrace quits for England post

Farbrace quits for England post

He will assist Peter Moores who was unveiled as the new England coach on Saturday. More »

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Pakistan on Monday reappointed Moin Khan as chief selector and manager of the national team, a week after fellow former captain Rashid Latif turned down… More »

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

IPL7, MATCH 8—Raina-led middle order, superlative catching give CSK a 93-run win. More »

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

Mukul Mudgal has communicated to the court his willingness to take up the investigation and has been asked to specify the terms and modalities on April… More »

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

The former BCCI president says he was "disillusioned" by the happenings at the emergent working committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Dwayne Bravo is set to be sidelined for at least four weeks due to a shoulder problem. Bravo sustained the injury when attempting a catch on the boundary… More »

NZC contemplates domestic revamp

NZC contemplates domestic revamp

New Zealand Cricket has put forward a proposal to reinvent its domestic structure and allow up to 49% private investment into the six major associatio… More »

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

The class act from Saurashtra may have to rethink his approach to the mannerless format. More »

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

The BCCI is likely to convene a special general body meeting (SGM) in May to replace N Srinivasan on the board's disciplinary committee. More »

Roach escapes injury after car crash

Roach escapes injury after car crash

The West Indies fast bowler lost control of his BMW sedan due to slippery road conditions in his native Barbados on Saturday. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Day of Supreme reckoning

Day of Supreme reckoning

Apex court to decide on BCCI’s proposed new committee today. More »

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

The former CBI Director is one of the three candidates proposed by the BCCI to head the enquiry into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal. More »

Repose faith in Indian coaches

Repose faith in Indian coaches

All of them cost plenty of dollars which I feel is unnecessary for a two- month tournament, says former cricketer Yajurvindra Singh. More »

Cook relieved after period in limbo

Cook relieved after period in limbo

The England captain is looking forward to a fresh start after a dispiriting Ashes defeat last year. More »