Distribution of freebies in TN a worrying trend: CEC

Promise of providing freebies like mixies and laptops to the people by political parties in Tamil Nadu is a "disturbing" trend, Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi said here on Friday.

Last Updated: Mar 25, 2011, 23:03 PM IST

New Delhi: Promise of providing freebies
like mixies and laptops to the people by political parties in
Tamil Nadu is a "disturbing" trend, Chief Election
Commissioner S Y Quraishi said here on Friday.
"We have been hearing news of parties in Tamil Nadu
promising mixies and laptops to people in an attempt to
impress them...this is a worrying trend and the public has
been taking notice of it," he said addressing a lecture on
`Sustaining Electoral Process- India`s initiatives`.

On March 19, the ruling DMK in the state said it would
distribute free mixies or grinders to women, free laptops to
SC/ST students and free rice of 35 kg to BPL families if voted
back to power.

The main opposition party AIADMK, on the other hand,
promised 20 kg of free rice for ration-card holders, laptops
for students from classes XI, free fans,mixers and grinders to
all and mineral water to BPL families, besides four
gms of gold for `Thali` (mangalsutra) free of cost to poor
women and cable TV connections at subsidised rates.
Quraishi said that his office could do little to curb
this trend as the parties had chosen the distribution of
freebies as their election manifesto but the Election
Commission would act if "there was any distortion in the list
of expenditure of candidates" at the end of the campaigning
process.

He also said that those indulging in "unnecessary
extravagances" in an attempt to "seduce the voters" would be
reprimanded.

"Recently an observer caught a truck carrying chicken
for a briyani party by one of the candidates in Tamil Nadu.
Such ways to seduce the voters will not be encouraged," he
said.

PTI