ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Making Election Manifestos Legally Binding

A Wild Goose Chase

An increasing number of lawyers and parliamentarians have been mooting to make election manifestos a legally binding document by holding the political parties accountable for their manifesto promises in order
to strengthen democracy. This article argues that even if the election manifestos are made into a legally binding document, its implementation would remain incumbent upon the Election Commission’s will and competency to enforce it.

The authors would like to convey their gratitude to Narayana A and Anshuman Singh at the Azim Premji University, and the anonymous reviewer for their insightful comments and suggestions on the earlier version of this article.

On 30 December 1948, during the Constituent Assembly debates, Mahavir Tyagi argued that

in a democracy … the administration shall be run on the lines of the manifesto which has been approved by the general electorate. (Lok Sabha 1948)

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Updated On : 27th Feb, 2023
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