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Political Play
CA Dr Sunil Gupta
Shouldn't accountability track promises of the manifesto? 01 April, 2014
How often do we see political leaders talk about or even remember the promises made in the election manifesto of their party? And, have we ever tried to question or evaluate the works undertaken by any Government with respect to the declarations made prior to forming the Government?
To be honest, not many of us seem to care about the assurances given in the manifesto of the political groups. Definitely, we are bound to believe that the booklet with handsome promises is of no significance.

To discuss further, it is vital to understand what an election manifesto represents. The manifesto holds the intentions, views, and goals of the political group in a published format. Plus, it promotes new ideas and depicts the vision to bring in changes which the publishing party feels are necessary for the prosperity of general public. In other words, the manifesto must reflect the real intentions of the political party and the assurances made must be realistic and feasible. The picture here doesn’t seem to be the same. Let us now evaluate the manifestos and the actual works undertaken by the political parties.

The state elections of Delhi witnessed the emergence of a political party that claimed to eradicate corruption and other social, economic and political curses once it comes to power. ‘Jan Lokpal by December 29’, ‘700 liters of free water’, ‘Commando force for women safety’, and ‘Better health and education’ are some of the promises made in the party’s election manifesto. Now, I feel they forgot to add ‘Terms and Conditions apply’.

While studying management, we are taught about planning for contingencies and surprises. However, the AAP did not make any strategy in case a coalition Government comes into the picture. So, we should understand why the party couldn’t introduce the Jan Lokpal Bill by December 29. We should also not fall into the descriptive definition of what ‘better health and education’ stands for. As for AAP, such words and assurances were enough to lure voters and gather support.

The Manifesto of the Congress party for the upcoming polls again talks about strengthening and uplifting the backward classes, poor, and minority. Plus, it promises adequate health, accommodation, and pension services to 700 million people. Can anyone ask the party leaders how would they bring in such reforms? And, when the task of ruling the nation was undertaken by the Congress for almost 60 years, shouldn’t these issues been sorted out much earlier than after 67 years of democracy?

It is easy to make promises and even easier for the political parties to overlook these. The instructions of the Supreme Court and the guidelines of the Election Commission in no way are able to restrict parties from luring voters with dishonest assurances. This calls for stringent measures and the setting up of a legislative body that must assess the performance of the Government in view of the promises made in the election manifesto.

Political parties and their leaders must be accountable to deliver what was assured to the voters and any deviations must be penalized. Surely, the manifestos would reflect the real intents of the parties post such measures, which in turn would ensure adequate reforms and elevated prosperity.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
About The Author
A Chartered Accountant by profession and Director on the board of Punjab National Bank (PNB), General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC) and Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC). Dr. Sunil Gupta is working flawlessly for the economic and social prosperity of India. His Linkedin and twitter handles are @cadrsunilgupta. Facebook page is CADrSunil.
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