MANIFESTOES : How Real?

By Manisha

10 lakhs jobs for the youth of Punjab in their 2012 manifesto, but did it really happen? Now promising 20 lakhs seems like they are offering the moon to the population of Punjab. Eradication of drugs, the main agenda of every party, again the same question. Does it really happen? A new player to the game has launched number of manifestoes in which they made some promises of their own and some copied from rivals but again will they be able to make it to the voters?

Every election season there is a rain of manifestoes made by every party. The promise makers (political parties) use manifestoes as a way of communicating with the people. After every 5 years suddenly they are worried about the problems of common man and through manifestoes they try to convince the common man that if they vote for them they can solve their problems. The parties makes all sort of promises whether they are realistic or not just to get in power, although many of the promises are never fulfilled.Though manifestoes are perfectly legal, even if the promises are unrealistic and irresponsible. However the Election Commission (EC) had no power to question this. Though the matter has been discussed in Supreme Court but one can’t clear the dilemma regarding manifestoes. It’s the weakness of our democratic system that it can’t question the manifesto.

Every party puts their best in their manifestoes but the question is that do the voters really know about what manifestoes actually are? The second question which arises in my mind is that do manifestoes really affect the decision of voters? There are many people who don’t even know what manifestoes are. A manifesto is a published verbal declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer, be it an individual, group, political party or government but in reality a manifesto is published verbal declaration of unrealistic promises. It’s a fact that this manifestoes are not even read by the voters, they are more dependent on media, opinion leaders and public rallies for information.   They vote a party either out of favouritism or the decision taken by opinion leaders. There are only few number of educated people who actually evaluate the manifestoes of all parties and then take a decision but deep inside they also know that completing those promises are next to impossible. So they either cast their vote to a new comer or they believe that the party who is already in power understand the system better so nothing should be changed . This is broadly the voting behaviour of voters.

In reality these manifestoes are of no use. To make these manifestoes useful, our democratic system must set some rules for manifestoes. If a party is voted to power and is not fulfilling the promises mentioned in their manifestoes, they should be punished. The voter must have a right to question the manifestoes. The EC should scrutinize the manifestoes of political parties so that they can’t make any unrealistic promises to the voters . The parties should be answerable over their manifestoes to the public .Only then these manifestoes can serve a purpose for the voters otherwise they are just equal to a piece is paper . The system should either increase the utility of manifestoes or ban the printing of manifestoes so that at least some trees can be saved from deforestation.

Below given are links of the manifestoes of various parties.

http://www.elections.in/punjab/assembly-constituencies/aap-candidate-list.html

http://www.yespunjab.com/info4u/item/3126-punjab-congress-releases-manifesto-for-mc-elections-full-manifesto-on-yes-punjab

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Punjab-elections-BJP-manifesto-promises-land-to-Dalits-houses-to-poor/article17078321.ece

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