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.

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