The Election Commission has censured Tamil Nadu’s ruling All Indian Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam for making promises in its election manifesto and providing unsatisfactory rationales behind financial requirements for these promises. Ahead of the state Assembly elections in March, the AIADMK and Opposition party, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, had made several promises in their manifestos, including distributing freebies like washing machines and idli-makers, as well as vowing to waive agricultural loans.

The EC had issued both party chiefs (J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi) show-cause notices asking them to indicate means to meet financial requirements for these promises, and for violating the model code of conduct ahead of the election, reported PTI. The election monitor said the ruling AIADMK’s reply was “unsatisfactory”, and while the DMK’s response explained the financial means to provide these items, the details in its reply should have been provided in the manifesto itself. The commission has asked the DMK to be more “circumspect” with its election manifesto promises.

Both parties made broad claims in their respective manifestos. Among the promises AIADMK made were to waive off all farmers’ loans, provide free WiFi at public spaces, revoke Foreign Direct Investment in retail, allot 50% subsidy for women to buy mopeds or scooters and provide farmers with loans worth Rs 40,000 crore from 2016 to 2021. Similarly, DMK’s election manifesto promised smartphones to poor people, free 3G and 4G services, enforcement of prohibition in the state, as well as crop and educational loan waiver, among others.