Election Commission on Tuesday censured AIADMK for violating the provisions of the Model Code during the assembly polls, saying no rationale was given to meet the financial requirement for fulfilling promises by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s party.
In an order dated August 23, 2016, the EC said that the Commission “censures your party and also advises you and your party to be more circumspect and adhere to the provisions of Model Code of Conduct, particularly Para Vlll of the Guidelines relating to Manifestos, in future.”
The order was issued after the poll watchdog went through the reply given by Jayalalithaa in response to the notice issued to AIADMK on May 14, 2016.
“The Commission has gone through the reply given by you on behalf of your party, and examined it with reference to the guidelines on election manifestos framed in pursuance of directions given by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India and after having consultation with all recognized National and State political parties,” the ECI said in its order addressed to Tamil Nadu CM.
“It has been observed that no rationale or/and detail on the ways and means to meet the financial requirement for fulfilling such promises has been given in the manifesto for certain promises, like, waiver of all farm loans due to co-operative banks, free distribution of washing machine, steam boiler, ldly cooker for Adi-dravidar and Tribal welfare hostels, gift coupons of Rs. 500 for all ration card holders to purchase handloom textiles from co-optex at a cost of Rs.5o0/- during Pongal festival, free mobile phones to all family card holders and "Amma Banking card" to poor and middle class people; etc,” the commission said in its order.
“The commission has, therefore, found your reply unsatisfactory,” it said.
The Election Commission had also issued a notice to the DMK, the party headed by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and left it only with an “advise”.
“Having examined the reply, it has been noted that though the rationale and ways and means to meet the promises have now been given, the same should have been given while issuing the manifesto,” ECI said in its order referring to DMK reply.
“The Commission advises your party to be more circumspect and adhere to the provisions of Model Code of Conduct, particularly Para Vlll of the Guidelines relating to Manifestos, in future,” It said.
The notice to DMK was also issued on May 14.
In its show cause notice to the two Tamil Nadu parties, the Commission had referred to the guidelines on election manifesto for political parties and candidates.
It had reminded the two parties of section 3, which says that "in the interest of transparency, level-playing field and credibility of promises, it is expected that the manifesto also reflects the rationale for the promises and broadly indicates the ways and means to meet the financial requirement for it.
"Trust of voters should be sought only on those promises which are possible to be fulfilled."
Parties in Tamil Nadu are known to promise things such as colour TV, mixer grinder, ceiling fans and free rice in their election manifestos.