Open House: How can politicians, who do not meet poll promises, be held accountable? : The Tribune India

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Open House: How can politicians, who do not meet poll promises, be held accountable?

Election manifestos should be legally binding

Open House: How can politicians, who do not meet poll promises, be held accountable?

Supporters at the Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s rally on the Ram Leela ground in Chandigarh on Sunday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: NITIN MITTAL

Parties come up with their election manifestos before elections. It helps parties approach voters and apprise them of the work that they would pursue if they were elected. For a pragmatic and realistic election manifesto, it should be legally enforceable. This policy will make politics accountable and transparent. The sanctity of election manifestos needs to confirm their accountability to parties, and failure of promises must invite legal consequences in the form of restrictions on contesting elections or punitive punishment.

Dr Anil Kumar Yadav, New Chandigarh

Question for next week

The demand for a direct election and five-year term for city Mayor has resurfaced. Do you believe the one-year term should be replaced with a five-year tenure and that the Mayor be elected directly?

Suggestions in not more than 70 words can be sent to [email protected]

Review committee for elected candidates

It has become common practice for all candidates to lure voters with false promises. While filling out the nominations, candidates should prepare a list of tasks that they would work towards if elected. The list should be submitted to the Election Commission. A committee should be formed to review the elected candidate’s progress towards his listed tasks. If the assessment is not satisfactory, he should be asked to resign and barred from contesting elections.

Sqn Ldr Manjit Singh Johar (retd), Chd

Campaign about party’s manifesto

It should be compulsory for candidates to maintain a list of tasks they would undertake if elected. There should be a law that makes it compulsory for all candidates to interact with residents of their constituency every six months after being elected. Another measure that can be implemented is conducting regular door-to-door awareness campaigns about the party’s manifesto and what percentage of it has been fulfilled.

Saikrit Gulati, Chandigarh

Govt should implement its guidelines fairly

To ensure public trust, the government should implement its guidelines fairly and effectively. This demonstrates that the government follows through on its promises. Ultimately, all government decisions should prioritise the wellbeing of their citizens. Courts, too, serve the people’s interests, ensuring that government actions benefit the public.

Karishma Gandhi

Make manifestos and promises binding

Broken promises have been a perennial feature of elections. A constitutional framework takes an hour to make election manifestos and promises legally binding. This approach would help in promoting accountability in the electoral space. This will go a long way in ensuring that politicians are not able to break the trust of voters after being elected.

Charu Malhotra, Mohali

Right to recall candidates

During every election, candidates may make a lot of promises in their manifestos; however, they forget them after the election. Moreover, they do not even visit the residents that they made all those promises to. In this situation, there is no law to hold them accountable. In this position, the ‘Right to Recall’ is the only option with a certain percentage of votes. If this is made, either in the Peoples Representation Act or in the Constitution, it is the best option to make the various political parties realise their commitments to fulfil.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Replace manifesto with legal documents

Innocent voters get trapped by the various freebies and cash incentives that political parties offer during elections. All the manifestos should be made into legal documents with the signatures of candidates on them so that they have a legal duty to at least work towards the promises they made in the manifestos during elections.

SS Arora, Mohali

Election Commission should offer SOPs

The Election Commission must come up with strong standard operating procedures (SOP) to curb the issue of unfulfilled promises after the election. All promises made should be part of a written manifesto. Any defaulting candidate or party should not be allowed to contest any future election.

Vijay Shukla, Chandigarh

No development, no vote for candidate

It seems that we have to go miles before any candidate can make the dreams of the city residents a reality. It’s quite easy to fool people by distributing manifestos with big promises and never actually fulfilling them after being elected. That’s why the educated ones never bother to cast their vote as they know that same scenario will be there as in the last elections.

Savita Kuthiala

Stringent action against candidates

Before elections, politicians make grand promises to voters. However, a lot of times they fail to fulfil them. The Election Commission should take strict action against those politicians, who do not meet poll promises. This is necessary to ensure accountability for the poll promises. This step should be necessary to ensure the transparency of democracy.

Adish Sood, Amloh

People should vote wisely

In a democratic setting, the role of the voters is of paramount importance. In a real sense, they are the kingmakers. If they act wisely, no falsifier can allure them by making fake promises. On the other hand, the manifestos of parties must be submitted to the Election Commission and brought under a legal framework to be held accountable. People need to be smart and stop voting for candidates that do not fulfil their promises.

Surinder Paul Wadhwa, Mohali

Legally bind promises made by candidates

People listen to a candidate’s pitch about various promises, and they vote for the person based on those promises. Once elected, promises are often broken. The law says verbal agreements and oral contracts are generally valid and legally binding as long as they are reasonable, equitable, conscionable, and made in good faith. If a politician makes a promise, then it should be treated as a verbal agreement.

Sanjay Chopra, Mohali

Ban candidates from contesting poll

The Election Commission of India should take the responsibility to check whether promises made by political leaders or parties are fulfilled or not. There should be a provision that, in case of failure, they should be barred from contesting in the coming elections or removed from the post within one year.

Abhilasha Gupta, Mohali

Residents need to be smarter

Politicians in this country making false promises is not new. The residents need to be smart and stop getting impressed by the various false promises these candidates make while campaigning during elections. The next time such a candidate comes to them to ask for votes, residents of the city should show them the door.

Opinder Kaur Sekhon, Chandigarh

‘KRA’ Audit for Manifestos

Political manifestos should be transformed into Key Result Areas (KRAs) with clear, measurable, and time-bound targets. A neutral agency, such as the Election Commission, should audit and publish annual progress reports on these targets. This transparency will enable voters to make informed decisions based on factual performance data, ensuring political accountability and fostering trust in the democratic process.

Shashank Parmar, Panchkula

Organise public debates with voters

No party has ever fulfilled all the promises they have made to the people during elections. There is a need to have public debates where voters can ask questions and confront the probable candidates. One sided communication of promises through manifestos and speeches cannot make them responsible and accountable.

Wg Cdr (DR) JS Minhas (retd), Mohali

Media scrutiny for elected candidates

Politicians failing to fulfil promises can be held accountable through transparency, media scrutiny, and public awareness. Regular reporting on progress and consequences for unmet pledges can pressure them to deliver.

Prithvee Yakhmi, Chandigarh

Democracy has become a game of chance

The democracy of the country has become like a game of chance as the people keep voting for candidates hoping for a different result; however, they keep reaching the same outcome every time. The manifestos of various candidates should be converted into legal documents. This is the only way to hold themselves accountable.

Capt Amar Jeet (retd), Kharar

Empower voters with a right to recall

The Election Commission needs to empower voters with the right to recall politicians if the performance of the elected candidate is not satisfactory. It would be the best-case scenario for the voters to critically and realistically evaluate all promises made by the candidates before the elections.

Kumar Gupt, Panchkula

Docial media group to track progress

To ensure politicians are accountable for unmet promises, citizens can form watchdog groups to track progress on pledges. Public forums and social media can amplify accountability calls. Legal frameworks could mandate promise audits and non-compliance could lead to disqualification. Ultimately, voters have the power to vote out those who consistently fail to deliver, sending a strong message that actions must follow words.

Sahibpreet Singh, Mohali

Voter education needs enhancement

Mandate pre-election contracts where politicians legally commit to key promises, facing fines or disqualification for non-fulfilment. Enhance voter education on political accountability tools and empower watchdog organisations to monitor and report on progress. Implement performance-based salaries for politicians, directly linked to their promise fulfilment. Facilitate community town halls for direct accountability and foster partnerships with media outlets for regular, in-depth analyses of politicians’ performance against their promises.

Gurpreet Kaur, Mohali

Add legislative ties to campaign pledges

To ensure politicians fulfil their promises, introduce legislation that ties campaign pledges to measurable outcomes, with penalties for non-compliance. Establish independent oversight committees to regularly audit progress and publish transparent, accessible reports. Empower citizens with the right to initiate recall votes if significant promises are unmet.

Gurdev Singh, Mohali

Penalties for false promises

Politicians who fail to fulfil poll promises can be held accountable through legally binding contracts requiring them to achieve specific goals or face penalties, such as salary reductions or disqualification from future elections. Implementing citizen recall mechanisms and regular performance audits by independent bodies can also ensure accountability.

Amanjot Kaur, Mohali

Review candidates’ performance regularly

Politicians failing to fulfil promises should face mandatory performance reviews by independent watchdogs, coupled with legally binding recall mechanisms. Implementing financial penalties tied to campaign funding and public transparency portals tracking promise fulfilment can increase accountability.

Gaganpreet Singh, Mohali

Hold Review meetings during tenure

The performance will be reviewed after three years and thereafter every year. The performance will be reviewed on the basis of the funds they have used for the development projects, jobs created, meetings attended at the Parliament, and other works such as the as the supply of clean water, schools, dispensaries and hospitals, among others.

NPS Sohal, Chandigarh

Empower voters to recall candidates

A mechanism should be in place to empower voters to recall their elected representatives if they fail to fulfil the promises made during their campaign. Voters should be aware and stop voting for candidates who forget their promises after elections.

Bharat Bhushan Sharma

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