India

Kapil Sibal on poll watchdog’s freebies letter: maybe EC needs a model code of conduct

Kapil Sibal, a Rajya Sabha MP, poked fun at the Election Commission for proposing a change to its model code that would require political parties to provide voters with authentic information about the financial viability of their election promises. He said perhaps there is a need for a model code of conduct within the poll watchdog itself.

An Election Commission (EC) letter sent to all recognized national and state parties emphasizes the impact of empty election promises on the financial sustainability of the election process.

The EC has set a deadline of October 19 for parties to submit their comments on the proposals.

In response to the development, Sibal said, “After filing an affidavit in the Supreme Court, the Election Commission has retracted its position on the freebie debate. This would constitute an overreach of authority. His desire is now to include it in the Model Code of Conduct.” “Maybe the EC itself requires a Model Code of Conduct! ” he wrote on Twitter.

In its letter, the EC said, “The Commission notes that the consequences of inadequate disclosures by political parties get attenuated by the fact that elections are held frequently. Thus, political parties can engage in competitive electoral promises, especially in multiphase elections, without explaining their financial implications, specifically their commitment to expenditure.”

According to the poll panel, the Indian electorate will be able to make informed choices in the polls with adequate disclosures regarding the financial implications of the promises made.

Despite the potential ramifications of election promises, the Commission proposes that disclosures regarding them be limited to their financial implications in terms of the financial resources required to implement these promises.”

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