The opinion of the Supreme Court relating to freebies offered by political parties during the election campaign is being discussed widely on social media. Unfortunately, the issue has been interpreted in a different manner and is being circulated.
The freebies offered by political parties cannot be controlled by the Supreme Court of the Election Commission. The Apex Court and the Election Commission have been often saying that political parties should judiciously make such announcements, which can be fulfilled through the budgetary provisions. The court has opined that the tax payers should be consulted before making such announcements. The opinion of the taxpayers should be considered by political leaders and parties.
The Supreme Court has not and cannot direct anyone to form a union or organisation of tax payers, nor can frame rules about the offers made or to be made by political parties.
During the discussion on the issue with The Live Nagpur, renowned economist Dr Shrinivas Khandewale said that the offers are made by political parties to garner support of voters. The freebies adversely affect some section of the society, mainly the tax payers or middle class. This factor is ignored by political parties for obvious reasons. There appears to be race for such offerings amongst politicians, which increased inequality in the society.
The defence to these uncontrolled offers is found in the provisions of the Constitution. However, the Constitutional provisions aimed at welfare of the society, is taken as a defence for emotionally exploiting the society. Under the pretext of welfare injustice is caused to some others. This approach is dangerous for the entire society, Dr Khandewale said. Another provision of Social Security in the Constitution, is blatantly ignored.
Regional Council Member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India Abhijit KelkarÂ said that there is no criteria for controlling announcements of freebees by political parties. Such announcements will continue in the near future.
The Supreme Court or the Election Commission cannot frame rules for political parties on these issues. Only Parliament has power to frame the law.
The political parties on their own can frame guidelines for judicious use of their offers, which can be accommodated in the economic policy.
The tax payers in India are less than 20 percent. They will not be able to exert pressure on the remaining 80 percent population, which is in the beneficiary category, Kelkar added.
Former Mayor and former MLC Anil Sole also supported the views that rules for such offers cannot be made. Making organisation of taxpayers is not possible as they are spread across the nation. All the citizens are already paying taxes in some form or the other.
The pressure of the society on politicians or political parties only can help to some extent. However, this pressure, which existed earlier, is almost finished.