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WB: NGOs to keep watch on election promises

News18

Updated: March 20, 2011, 10:11 AM IST
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WB: NGOs to keep watch on election promises
The political parties welcomed the initiative on electoral reforms.

Kolkata: National Election Watch (NEW), a conglomerate of over 1,200 NGOs and organisations working on electoral reforms, will examine manifestos of political parties for the coming Assembly elections in West Bengal and
sensitise people about their feasibility.

"Political parties make tall promises in manifestos,but in most of the cases they are not fulfilled," co-ordinator of NEW's West Bengal chapter Biplab Halim told PTI.

"This year, we have decided to analyse the manifestos immediately after their release and go to the people to make them aware about the agenda of the parties," he said.

Asked how they are going to do it, Halim said, "The success of democracy lies in the awareness of the people. We will organise three zonal level conventions to scrutinise the manifestos and make people aware of it".

He said they would distribute leaflets containing the views of the experts in every constituency, upload them on the Internet and release press statements regularly.

"We will also check criminal background and assets of candidates," Halim added.

NEW's state unit includes former Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court and Bombay High Court Chittatosh Mookerjee, former DGP Amiya Samanta and other eminent people.

NEW is active in all states and has been monitoring Loksabha and State Assembly elections since 2002 but for the first time they would go through the manifestos and inform the people about their feasibility.

The political parties welcomed the initiative.

"We have urged the people to analyse the manifestos. So if anybody takes the initiative nothing can be better than that. We have always mentioned in our manifesto what we have achieved and what we couldn't," CPI(M) leader Md Selim said.

Trinamool Congress leader and union minister Mukul Roy said, "Any civil society can analyse the manifestos. There is nothing wrong in it."

Congress leader Pradip Bhattacharya said, "All parties have separate manifestos and in case of a coalition government, it is difficult to keep all the promises".

First Published: March 20, 2011, 10:11 AM IST
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