'Nothing wrong on freebies offered by political parties in their manifestos': CPI

New Delhi, Aug. 12 (ANI): Asserting that there is nothing wrong on freebies offered by political parties in their manifestos, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja on Monday said the election manifesto outlines the ideological vision, political perspective and promises and assurances given to the people and this right cannot be taken away or subjected to any scrutiny.

"The issue which is discussed is in the light of Supreme Court judgement on election manifestos announcing freebies. What is the response of political parties that is what Election Commission wanted to know? As far as our party is concerned, we have made it very clear the election manifesto is the prerogative of the political parties, it is the fundamental right of the political parties," Raja told media here after the all-party meeting convened by the Election Commission of India to frame guidelines on freebies offered by political parties in their manifestos.

"The election manifesto outlines the ideological vision, political perspective and promises and assurances given to the people and this right cannot be taken away, this right cannot be subjected to any scrutiny either by Supreme Court or by Election Commission," he added.

Raja further said the CPI does not find anything wrong in political parties promising certain things to the people, be it bicycle, be it laptop or be it anything because it is in accordance to the directive principles of the Indian Constitution.

The Election Commission had convened today's meeting to seek the opinion of various parties before making rules to regulate allurements in election manifestos.

The guidelines are being framed after the Supreme Court asked the Election Commission on July 5 to frame guidelines about such promises announced by political parties.

While disposing of a special leave petition challenging the freebies, the apex court had said that there is no enactment that directly governs the contents of the election manifesto.

The Election Commission wishes to formulate a clear policy on defining freebies announced by parties ahead of elections and has invited suggestions from political parties. (ANI)

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