Election manifesto helps to understand the priorities of a political party and it enables the voter to make informed choices. In this context the election manifesto needs to be regulated. Comment.
Election manifesto are promises that a party proposes to fulfil, if it comes to power. During election phase, election manifesto of parties offer a lot of debate, on kinds of promises.
But given the unrealistic claims of political parties, there has been a need felt for regulating election manifesto. Recently, a PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court, which seeks to regulate election manifesto and make them legally enforceable.
Issues with the content of manifesto:
- Electoral populism and claim for freebies. E.g. Free laptops, free scooters, free electricity, etc.
- Fiscally unviable/unreasonable claims. E.g. Promise of buying all produce at MSP, which is almost impossible as that would cost around 50% of the union budget.
- Delay in release of manifesto, waiting for other parties to release them first and then make more lucrative claims.
Need for Regulation:
- Promote accountability and transparency.
- Promote free and fair elections.
- Improves public faith in the process of elections.
- Parties will become more conscious of making unrealistic promises, which they can’t fulfil.
As a result, Election manifesto will become more effective tool of elections, than just political rhetoric and grand promises before elections.