Deploring the culture of giveaways in Tamil Nadu to entice voters, the Madras High Court on Wednesday advised political party leaders to stop this and engage in infrastructure promotion.
The court’s observations came during the admission of a brief motion from Mr. Chandramohan of Tirunelveli district asking the authorities concerned to convert the reserved constituency of the Vasudevanallur Assembly into a general constituency.
The petitioner wanted to allow all communities to stand as candidates in the next elections and to respect the spirit of the Indian Constitution.
“Each party tries to outdo itself in terms of populist promises. If a party promises monthly aid of Rs 1,000 to female heads of household, there is a counter-offer of Rs 1,500. This continues. The result is that people started to think that they could make a living from gifts, ”said a division judge of Judges N Kirubakaran and B Pugalendhi.
A trend has developed that anyone who takes a loan from banks will not pay it back, expecting loan forgiveness during elections. In this way, the people themselves are corrupted by the political parties. The way the parties launch their promises, which are unreasonable and unworkable, is truly undesirable.
“Unfortunately, the giveaways are not linked to job creation, development or agriculture. Voters are drawn to vote for them by these magical promises. Once every 5 years, this tamasha continues for decades together. The promises have always stayed like promises. Most of them, with the exception of freebies, are not implemented, ”he said.
The bench noted that each candidate has to shell out around 20 crore rupees in the elections, as many people have become corrupt by selling their votes for one or a few thousand, biriyani and booze.
“It’s a harsh reality. If so, how can the people expect good leaders. Do people who sell their votes have the moral right to question their leaders, ”asked the judiciary.
The judges ruled that if the money spent on gifts is used constructively in creating employment opportunities, building infrastructure like dams and lakes and better facilities and incentives for agriculture, which has become an “orphan” in the country because most of the people left him as he does not provide a secure income, there will certainly be social uplift and progress of the state.
Political parties should be banned or prevented from making election promises, which are likely to strain public finances, especially the state facing a financial crisis, he said.
Otherwise, for financial reasons, the state must increase the number of liquor stores.
Each political party is required to make promises to voters by giving their social policies and plans to improve the standard of living of the population by providing clean governance, infrastructure, in particular, basic amenities such as water, transport and health.
But, promises made by political parties are aimed at gaining power, he said.
In addition to color televisions, laptops, blenders, fans and mills, among others, every family cardholder in the state receives 20 kg of rice for free each month.
That aside, during festival seasons like Pongal and Diwali, public money is drained. In fact, the celebrations are taken care of by the government by providing free dhoties, saris and items needed for cooking and making pongal and the expenses for the celebrations.
“These types of gifts and money given during festivals, while it is justified for the government to take care of people’s needs, in fact make people lazy and weaken their work culture,” he said. .
“In the process, the honest taxpayer becomes a silent spectator of this spending by the government,” he said.
Therefore, even for any normal work, no force is available in Tamil Nadu and it has to depend on migrant workers from northeastern and northern states like Manipur, Meghalaya, Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha, said the Banc.
Most of the workers in northern India are employed in agricultural work, hotels, industries, shops and saloons in Tamil Nadu.
“It’s not like everyone in Tamil Nadu has become an entrepreneur or people with resources and if we go into detail, most people, including the rich, expect freebies,” the court said.
The way things are today, one would not be surprised to see that migrant workers would own the properties in due course and the sons of the land would become laborers working under them.
This is perhaps the only achievement, probably, that political parties have achieved through election promises by giving giveaways over the past 20 years, the judges said.