[Basic theme: There should be a provision of submission of affidavit of the status of the promises mentioned in the manifesto of previous election to the election commission by the party in power]
- Political parties make many unrealistic promises during elections that can’t be fulfilled.
- Common voters do not understand that the promises are un-implementable and manifestos remain pieces of paper due to short term memory of citizens.
- The non-fulfillment of poll promises never becomes an electoral issue.
- Election commission can’t act against parties making unrealistic poll promises and not fulfilling them because the manifesto promises cannot be constructed as “corrupt practices” under the Representation of the People Act though they do “influence” the people and “shake the roots of free and fair elections”.
- Though election commission has issued guidelines for political parties to state the rationale for the promises in the manifestos and the way and means to meet the financial requirement for them, it does not track the promises.
- During elections, citizens need to be made aware of the status of the election promises made by the party in power.
- Accordingly, election commission should issue following guidelines for the party or parties (in the case of alliance) in power: a) While submitting manifesto to the election commission for the current election, the party or parties (in the case of alliance) in power should submit an affidavit of the status of the promises mentioned in the manifesto of previous election. b) The party should publish the affidavit along with the manifesto of current election.
- Election commission will analyze the information given in the affidavit and classify the promises into 3 categories viz. fulfilled, stalled and not fulfilled. Election commission will then publish the analyzed information along with the affidavit submitted by the party or parties (in the case of alliance) on its website.
- These guidelines will be helpful to make political parties accountable.
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