Supreme Court hears arguments on freebies during elections

Supreme Court hears arguments on freebies during elections

Most political parties don't like the culture of freebies, but few of them refrain from partaking in it during elections. Freebies given by political parties are given free of charge, but are hardly free.

The Supreme Court is hearing arguments to prevent political parties from distributing irrational freebies from public funds, and is also hearing from political parties who are taking jibes at each other over freebies.

All the stakeholders have different things to say about freebies:

The BJP: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remark on revdi culture is at the centre of most of these arguments. Revdi is a sweet popular in North India and is often distributed during festivals. In our country, attempts are being made to bring a culture of garnering votes by distributing revdis. This revdi culture is very dangerous for the development of the country. PM Modi said in July that the people of the country and especially the youth need to guard against this culture.

More recently, the BJP launched a scathing attack on the Aam Aadmi Party AAP and said those who are zeroes at the grassroot level want to be heroes by distributing revdis AAP: Responding to PM Modi's remark, the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP had lashed out at the central government for disturbing the peaceful atmosphere of the country. Kejriwal said that the crime of giving free education, free electricity and free water is now a crime. They waived off debt worth Rs 10 lakh crore of some people. Some of them are friends. He said no one is talking about it.

As we celebrate 75 years of Independence, I demand the central government to provide good free education, healthcare, 300 units of electricity and unemployment allowance in the country. He said that those who call it revdi are traitors of the country.

Kejriwal has been accused of looting money and distributing free revdis, but he is not going to Swiss banks with money or wasting public money.

The Supreme Court asked stakeholders like the RBI, Niti Aayog, and the central government to brainstorm over the serious issue of freebies announced during elections, and put forward constructive suggestions to tackle it.

The Supreme Court issued notices to the central government and the Election Commission of India ECI in January and called out political parties for distributing freebies, as it had previously been called a very serious issue by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana. The apex court had issued notices to the Centre and the ECI asking for directions to seize election symbols and deregister political parties that promised to give irrational freebies at the public's expense.