Election manifesto: Where is Economics - May 17, 2018

The meaning of Economic development for we all economists is the improvement in the fundamentals of the economy. Each government should strive to increase the consumption, private and public investment, exports. Political parties in India are talking about the core economic development partially and spending time, money and energy on winning elections across states., where these are the office bearers should spend less time on political issues and more time on economic issues.

All parties unveil the election manifesto before the elections. The election manifesto ideally should be the agenda for the government that the party will pursue after the election from the party office. Writing the manifesto is having the history of last 100 years in the western countries, where the agenda was more on social development. It is in 2001 Tony Blair in 2001 and subsequently wrote a detailed manifesto citing all sectors of society in particular health, Education etc. Indian political parties have released the election manifesto from way back in 1950's, however, the similarities differences in the manifesto is to be analysed and discussed. Unfortunately, the common man doesn't analyse the economics side of manifesto before voting. Ideally members are to be elected based on the manifesto and the party politics should be considered as secondary variable. Indian elections are going far a way from the idealistic situations. Surprisingly, many people are following the elections, (Tweeter has handled 30 lakhs plus tweets in two days of election results of Karnataka is the witness to that) Karnataka election and the voting pattern is the best example to prove that manifestos are not viewed seriously.

All parties in India, including AAP, BJP and INC always writes about Economic Development, Health care, Primary education etc. AAP writes clean India making India Corruption free, INC adds Quality before health care, BJP always talks about tax terror. All party promises to fight corruption and price rise. Where is the agenda of sustainable economic development is a million dollar question.

All the election manifesto and the political speeches were heavily intended to political variables like caste, blaming the opposition for non development, emotional intelligence with the district concerned instead of economic development.

The question to ponder is should we vote based on election manifesto? Are we voting for economic development? Are we asking right questions regarding economic development ? is there any need for adding economic policies in the manifesto? Shouldn't political party give us complete plan of financing the freebies mentioned in the manifesto? many more to ponder in next blog...

- Dr. S. S. Haridas