Everything you need to know about ManifestoApril 10, 2019
During elections, we get to hear a series of promises written on a piece of paper by participating political parties, circulated by media. That’s call manifesto. Political parties have published their manifesto for 2019 Lok Sabha elections too. both leading political parties have covered major issues such as agriculture, women security, unemployment, GST, healthcare, defence, and housing. However, we all have witnessed in the past that most of the promises that they write are not fulfilled. So can we not hold this against political parties as their written promises are not fulfilled? Does manifesto stand on legal grounds? Can a citizen of India drag a politician to court for not fulfilling his promise that was well documented in the manifesto? Let’s have a look.
Manifesto: Before elections, political parties release a set of promises written on a document that they are willing to do if they come to power. However, their plan of action and logic behind that promise is never elaborated in the manifesto. Hence most of the times manifesto ends up consisting all unachievable and practically unrealistic promises. There is one more point to be noted that promises they do during rallies do not also get to be the part of manifesto either.
Where does manifesto stand legally: Manifesto has no legal ground to stand in India. In 2013 Supreme Court of India asked Election Commission of India to bring guidelines to regulate what should be mentioned in manifesto such as
a. Anything that is against the constitution of India should be not be mentioned in manifesto
b. Any promises that are not practical or logical to achieve shouldn’t be there either
c. Political parties should be bound to mention their actions too regarding a promise
In 2013 a voter from Tamilnadu filed a petition again a political for a bribe because they were promising to distribute colour television if they win but Supreme Court of India denied as it is not against Representation Of People Act.
There are also few common promises we hear on every election such as women reservation, the betterment of people under poverty line, bringing corruption money back to India, Ram Mandir, and Kashmiri Pandits etc but without a plan of action. A new law should be proposed to regulate the terms for Manifesto or else it is so far just a piece of paper.