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Maharashtra polls: Vague promises common to all manifestos of top political parties

The study considered major areas of public concerns, including education, infrastructure, crime and was aimed at evaluating the promises.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Oct 15, 2014, 05.34 AM IST
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The study considered major areas of public concerns, including education, infrastructure, crime and was aimed at evaluating the promises. 
The study considered major areas of public concerns, including education, infrastructure, crime and was aimed at evaluating the promises. 
MUMBAI: What is common to the poll manifestos of top political parties in Maharashtra where elections are held on Wednesday?

Vagueness when it comes to real issues concerning people, says a Mumbai-based not-for-profit organisation that has analysed the promises made by the parties to Maharashtra's voters. Specifics, such as funding plans and tangible targets, are often missing and tokenism is a common theme.

The study considered 10 major areas of public concerns, including education, public health, infrastructure and crime, and was aimed at evaluating the promises to see if they were specific and address issues concerning people. In comparison, Congress and BJP manifestos were found to be more specific on solutions, budgets and deadlines. For others, "priority" and "war footing" were often the terms to specify timelines.

The analysis by Mumbai Votes, an organisation that claims to be working to improve the quality of voting, shows that the Congress' promise to improve public health, education, agriculture and social welfare were more detailed and doable than assurances given by other parties. The BJP has been able to provide specific solutions to problems pertaining to agriculture and employment. The Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena aren't clear on any of the 10 areas considered in the study, the NGO said in a report.

"Most manifestos make sweeping generalisations about the current state of affairs and rhetorical statements about their ‘vision' for change as opposed to specific roadmaps with timelines, budgets and at least skeletal implementation strategies," it said.

strategies," it said. On social welfare programmes, the MNS manifesto says: "Own house within the budget shall be the right of every citizen of the state from now onwards and slum rehabilitation programme shall be implemented with stronger will by the state government itself." NCP's solution to unemployment, given in its manifesto, is "making maximum use of youth power".

"Almost all the major party manifestos were released much later than the announcements of candidates, which clearly indicates that candidate's stature is clearly the focal point of parties as opposed to their specific plans for delivering good governance," said Vivek Gilani, founder of Mumbai Votes.

Areas like environmental protection and social justice seem to be last in the priority for the parties, with no one suggesting any major policy changes.
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