Author: Tauseef Jawed, Student at Alliance School of Law, Alliance University, Bangalore
Free and fair election is considered as the oxygen for a democracy, and the whole balance of it relies on the election just like any pivotal fulcrum. If the fairness and integrity of the electoral process is hijacked, then the very abstract of choosing the deserving representatives becomes dubious. In most of the state elections as well as in the national elections in India, distribution of money among other stuffs, and the promise of distributing freebies after getting elected has reached an alarming level with elections being severely affected. In the given scenario, there is a serious problem in the effectiveness of the electoral procedure. One of the specific problems with distribution of freebies apart from influencing the voters is that it results into unequal developmental and welfare activities among different communities, as a particular community may receive more freebies based on their good terms and cooperation with the representatives during the electoral process. Other problems include heavy costs of these freebies on the public exchequer, as ultimately these freebies are required to be paid at the expense of the taxpayers’ money. There are several constitutional challenges with the freebie’s trends including one which goes against the express idea of the preamble to the Constitution of India- “…social economic and political justice…” Therefore, this research paper deals with the issue of promising freebies in the light the determinants of a healthy democracy in India.
Keywords: Free and fair election, democracy, freebies, electoral process, voters, representatives.