Jayalalithaa Fails Election Commission Query

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New Delhi: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa has been “censured” by the Election Commission, as her party manifesto failed to mention how it would fund the elaborate promises it made ahead of the recent assembly polls in the state.

Political parties in Tamil Nadu are known to make extravagant promises to voters ahead of the elections manifestos talk of free colour TV, mixer grinder, ceiling fans and rice. But following people’s complaints regarding the manifestos, the commission had sent a notice to both AIADMK and the DMK, saying the “trust of voters should be sought only on those promises which are possible to be fulfilled”.

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The Commission, however, was not happy with the response of either party. A letter to Ms Jayalalithaa said no rationale has been provided on how it would meet the financial requirement for “certain promises, like waiver of all farm loans due to cooperative banks, free distribution of washing machine, steam boiler, idly cooker… gift coupons of Rs. 500 to all  ration card holders… free mobile phones”.

Mr Karunanidhi, who had given the rationale of his finances in his reply to the Election Commission, was told that he could have made those details public while releasing the manifesto. The Commission said he should be more circumspect in future.

It pointed out that the guidelines for manifestos say they should reflect the “rationale for the promises and broadly indicate the ways and means to meet the financial requirement”. Both parties stand in violation of that rule, it said.