Social group analyses manifestos in West Bengal

April 17th, 2011 - 12:07 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, April 16 (IANS) The Trinamool Congress has not elaborated on land acquisition policy, the Left Front’s promise on social security for the poor does not match concrete programmes, and the Congress is evasive on administrative reforms.

This is the conclusion of a civil society group Saturday after it analysed manifestos for the West Bengal assembly poll.

West Bengal Election Watch (WBEW) is working on making voters aware of their rights and helping them make an informed choice while voting in the April-May election for 294 constituencies.

“Every year, political parties announce several programmes in their manifestos. But in many cases, they do not fulfil their commitment. So this year, we had decided to analyse the manifestos immediately after they were released to make people aware about the agenda of the political parties,” Biplab Halim, state coordinator of WBEB, told a reporters here.

“We have made some observations on the manifestos of different political parties. Post-election, we will see if the parties are keeping their promises or not. If they fail to keep their promises, we will inform the people,” he said.

Buddhadeb Ghosh, an executive member of the WBEW and former director of the State Institute of Panchayats and Rural Development, said: “The manifesto of the Trinamool Congress appears to be more in the nature of a wish list of projects than a concrete plan of action.”

“There is no discussion about how the land problem will be solved. The manifesto does not elaborate the policy it would pursue in respect of land acquisition,” he said.

“The manifesto does not tell us anything about the party’s policy on land reform. Even though much has been said about industrialisation, the manifesto is not clear about the policy the party would pursue in respect of trade unions,” he said.

The enthusiasm shown by the party in promising to build new airports in district towns was not matched by the interest taken for the development of rural and district roads and state highways.

On Left Front’s manifesto, Ghosh said the ambitious programmes of the public distribution system and social security for the poor were not matched by any concrete programmes for mobilisation of resources and industrial reforms, leaving a question mark on the credibility of such promises.

“The manifesto is silent about administrative reforms, particularly with regard to matters relating to accountability, transparency and integrity of the bureaucracy,” he said.

“No clue is given in the Congress manifesto regarding specific interventions it would make in matters of administrative and police reforms in order to fulfill promises,” Ghosh stated.

“On important matters of development of economy, health and education or poverty alleviation, the party does not seem to have definite programmes of action,” he added.

Voting for the first phase of the six-round assembly election will be held April 18.

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