The Congress on Tuesday reacted strongly to the Election Commission’s (EC) suggestion that political parties making election promises should provide authentic information to the voters to assess the financial viability of their promises, saying the poll body has no business to intervene in such a manner.
“This is simply not the business of the EC. It goes against the very essence and spirit of competitive politics and will be yet another nail on the coffin of democracy in India. None of the welfare and social development schemes that have been transformational over the decades would ever have become a reality if such a bureaucratic approach had been in place,” AICC General Secretary in charge of communication Jairam Ramesh told The Indian Express.
The Shiv Sena too hit out at the EC. The CPM, on the other hand, said it is waiting for the official communication from the EC to formulate its view.
Slamming the move, the Shiv Sena accused the EC of “overdoing its responsibility and interfering in established global norms at the behest of the central government”.
“The lines of electoral democracy and administration of elections are getting blurred which is in line with how ED, CBI functions are becoming all-encompassing,” Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said.
“People vote for and dismiss governments through their vote, if election promises are not lived up to or the governments overspend then it is the sole right of the voter to make that choice, the EC is overdoing its responsibility and interfering in established global norms at the behest of the central government,” she added.
She hoped the EC will also “seek accountability from those who come to power on lofty development goals and end up having to add more MGNREGA days and free ration schemes instead of promised jobs and prosperity”.