EC struggles to define 'freebie'

Though the Election Commission (EC) has begun the process to hold consultations with political parties over implementation of a recent Supreme Court directive on election manifestos, the panel is finding it difficult to explain what could be termed as “freebies” in exact terms.

The apex court recently directed the EC to frame guidelines for regulating contents of manifestos of political parties, observing that “freebies” promised by them in the manifestos shake the roots of free and fair polls.

“While a poll promise may be considered a freebie in one state, it may not be considered as one in another. While a laptop to a poor student is considered a relief measure to help the poor get access to modern technology and be well educated, it may be considered a freebie for some in a rich state like Delhi,” said an EC official.

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