The Samajwadi Party (SP) will give out free smartphones to voters in Uttar Pradesh (UP) in the run-up to the assembly elections that are due next year.
The scheme makes any Uttar Pradesh resident – above 18, Class X passout, and earning less than Rs 6 lakh per year – eligible for the offer by registering online. The registration will continue for a month.
The distribution of the free smartphones will begin next year after the state elects a new government. The Samajwadi Party government, however, claims it is not an election freebie scheme.On Sunday, the Allahabad High Court dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the smartphone scheme.
"Since the petitioner has failed to place any such provision which bars making such declarations, no interference of this court is warranted," the court said.
The court, however, noted the petitioner's "enthusiasm for a free and fair election" and asked him "to suggest preventive measures to the Election Commission of India or the Chief Electoral Officer of the state to be adopted for conducting the election fairly".