The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The Election Commission’s proposal to amend the Model Code of Conduct to guide political parties to disclose how they plan to finance promises made in their election manifestos and how this would impact the financial situation of the state governments concerned or Central government is a totally unwarranted move.
The Constitution mandates the Election Commission to conduct free and fair elections. It is not the job of the Election Commission to regulate the policy pronouncements and welfare measures that political parties promised to the people. This is an area which is solely the prerogative of political parties in a democracy.
The Election Commission had, in an affidavit to the Supreme Court in April, stated that the Commission cannot regulate policy decisions of political parties and that it would be an overreach of powers. It is surprising that the Election Commission has now taken a contrary stand. Is this due to pressure being exercised by the executive?
The CPI(M) is strongly opposed to any effort to circumscribe or regulate the right of political parties to address people’s concerns and offer policy measures to ameliorate their problem.