CHANDIGARH: Farmers from Punjab on Tuesday said that manifestos released by political parties should be considered a legal document by the Election Commission of India (ECI) and if parties do not fulfil promises made in them, they should be liable for legal action.
They kick-started a campaign for this purpose and farmers led by Bhartiya Kisan Union (Rajowal) submitted a copy of manifesto of the Punjab Congress and a memorandum to Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore, demanding registration of manifestos as legal documents before their release. The memorandum, which had signatures of six lakh farmers, will be given to President Ram Nath Kovind.
Interestingly the Supreme Court had refused to grant legal sanction to election manifestos in 2015.
Onkar Singh Agaul, secretary of BKU (Rajowal) said that farmers were being befooled so far by political parties who made fake promises during their election campaigns and in their manifestos and never fulfilled them once they came to power.
“Before the Assembly elections last year, Punjab Congress had promised that farmers’ debts would be waived off, whether they were taken from cooperative banks, commercial banks or traders. But after coming to power, the state government has only waived off debt to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore taken from cooperative banks. The farmers of the state are under the debt of Rs 1.25 lakh crore.''
“Before the elections Captain Amarinder Singh had promised to make Punjab drug free in four weeks, but hardly anything has been done till date. Only small-time drug peddlers and addicts have been arrested by police and the big fish have gone scot-free,'' he said.
Agaul said, “Congress also promised employment to at least one person in the family under it's Ghar Ghar Rozgar scheme but hardly any youths have been given jobs.”