Promise of freebies in election manifesto okay, say parties

New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS) As a meeting will be held Monday between the Election Commission and representatives of political parties over the promise of freebies to voters in election manifestos, politicians say there is nothing wrong with such promises.

Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja said making such promises did not go against the constitution.

"We do not find anything wrong with political parties promising anything to people. It is allowed in the constitution. Political parties can decide how they can provide people particular things that are needed," Raja told reporters.

The BJP's Ravi Shankar Prasad said the matter should be left to the wisdom of voters.

"There should be discussion on the misuse of money power. But as far as giving things to people is concerned, it is best left to the wisdom of people," he said.

"A political party which promised TVs and free cable connections was defeated in the south," Prasad said, noting that such promises alone did not sway voters.

The Election Commission is consulting political parties in the national capital Monday to frame guidelines on freebies in election manifestos.

The Supreme Court had asked the Election Commission July 5 to frame guidelines on such promises.


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