The declaration by the Election Commission to hold independent and unbiased elections in five states has a bleak chance of success. The race between DMK and AIADMK to woo voters in Tamil Nadu shows that they hardly care about the Election Commission or the mandates set by EC for the elections. On one side, it is interesting to witness the fierce competition between both the parties to win voters by laying down plans and programmes and on the other, it is worrying to see that the EC has limited itself to just showing its concern about the ongoing activities of both the political parties in Tamil Nadu. DMK has promised to give 35 kgs of free rice per month to BPL families. AIADMK has gone a step further announcing 25 kgs of free rice every month to every family holding a ration card. The race doesn’t stop here. Karunanidhi is trying to attract the female voters by announcing to present mixer grinder to them while Jayalalitha will be gifting them with fans. In the same fashion, Karunanidhi wants to provide a laptop to every college going student while Jayalaitha, realising her limitations, has promised to give a laptop to every 11th class student. Besides, she has also promised to provide 4gms of gold to women for ‘mangal-sutra’. It isn’t strange to assume that in the coming days and with the nearing of poll dates many more such alluring promises will be made by both the parties. It is disappointing to find that all these public wooing tactics are being included in their election manifesto; as such the EC finds itself in a stuck position. The present dilemma of Election Commission clearly indicates that the sky is the limit for the political parties and, in their manifesto, they can now even include distribution of moon and stars as a way of wooing voters and no one will be competent enough to stop them from doing this. In this context, it cannot be forgotten that the announcement made by DMK to give free TV sets to all led to their victory in the last elections.

Even if one agrees with the fact that DMK and AIADMK will stick to their promises and fulfill all the promises mentioned in their election manifesto, but it should be kept in mind that the burden of the huge expenditure to be incurred will definitely be on the state exchequer. The Election Commission is unable to put a tight noose on alluring promises made by the political parties. As such, it will not be astonishing if other states soon resort to this type of canvassing for elections. The recent Wikileaks revelation says that in the last Lok Sabha election in Tamil Nadu, money was distributed among the voters to garner votes. In the past, a Trinamool Congress MP was also caught red-handed with a cash of Rs 57 lakhs and it is believed that this amount was to be used in the West Bengal elections. Whatever may be the truth, it is no more a hidden fact that the role of money in elections has been a key factor and phenomenon and increasing with each passing day and every elections. This is the right time to take up concrete steps in the direction of electoral reforms. If this is not done, there may be a situation where only those candidates will win elections who have capacity of spending a great deal of money in a concealed way. It is all the more disappointing to learn that though the EC looks very alert and agile to bring about electoral reforms, the political parties seem phlegmatic.  If the corrupt means employed to win elections are not curtailed then it is almost certain that Indian democracy will even lose its little left speciality it has.