‘EMPTY poll promises from parties have REACHABLE consequences’: EC on freebies

New Delhi: The Election Commission wrote to political parties on Tuesday for providing authentic information to voters to assess the financial viability of their election promises and also asked for their views on the matter. The EC said it cannot overlook inadequate disclosures about election promises and the resulting undesirable impact on financial sustainability, as “the promises so made have far-reaching consequences.”

While existing guidelines under the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) require political parties and candidates to explain the rationale for the promises made therein, as well as the possible ways and means of financing such promises, the Election Commission noted that the statements are quite routine. are ambiguous and do not provide voters with enough information to make an informed choice in an election.

The Commission, led by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar, has proposed to supplement existing MCC guidelines and empower political parties to inform voters about the financial implications of their manifesto promises through well-defined quantifiable parameters.

The Election Commission has written to all recognized national and state political parties requesting positions to proceed with the proposed amendment to establish a standardized disclosure proforma with the aim of not only strengthening the Model Code of Conduct guidelines for political parties and candidates , but also to provide authentic information to voters to assess the financial viability of political parties’ election promises.

The proposed format for disclosing political party election promises aims to standardize the nature of information that promotes comparability. Proforma of disclosure requires a statement of quantification of physical coverage, financial implications of the promises and availability of funds.

By proposing the reform, the polling station aims to inform voters about the financial viability of manifesto election promises and also whether they are tenable within the financial space of the state or government of the Union. All national and recognized political parties are requested to make their views known by October 18.

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