A separate head for guidelines for election manifesto released by a political party.

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A manifesto means a document of intention and plan, also giving clues to how a party views politics. Its aim, however, is to convert voters to a specific party. Elected to power, no party has ever delivered one hundred percent what it had promised in a manifesto. At times, a party elected to power may also flout what it had promised. Importantly, everything is not manifest in a manifesto for things remain latent. The latent becomes manifest not in a manifesto but in mobilisations where unsaid is as important as the contexts in which things are said.

The Political Parties promise to improve the working condition of the poor multitude without questioning the very violent systemic condition which produces the poor. Moreover, the poor are not an end in themselves but a bare means to India’s rise.

Elections lead to change in the government and policies. However, seldom do they lead to change in raison d'état, which may allow any change except its own

There is no any provision in law which makes promises made in the manifesto enforceable against a political party. Hence the best Election Commission of India can do is to ask the political party in power, while contesting in Election, to submit an affidavit of the status of the promises mentioned in the manifesto for the previous election. These guidelines will be helpful to make political parties more responsible while making election Manifesto promises as they will have to put their status in public domain while contesting for following elections.

  • In Bhutan and Mexico, Electoral Authorities have power to vet manifestos and get certain types of content removed. Manifestos require approval/validation by the Electoral authority before their release.
  • In the United Kingdom, the Electoral authority issues guidelines for campaign materials (which would apply to manifestos also).

 Initiated by -

Akshay Bhadauria, Advocate.



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