View from the left: Manifesto warshttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/view-from-the-left-manifesto-wars/

View from the left: Manifesto wars

The editorial takes on the Congress for its governance record

MANIFESTO WARS

Taking a jibe at the Congress’s claims of holding widespread consultations with different sections of the public to draft its manifesto, the CPM’s People’s Democracy says interacting with people may be “novel” for the Congress but the CPM’s manifestos are “always drawn up on the basis of the feedback” from different sections of people.

The editorial takes on the Congress for its governance record: “Clearly, the Congress party’s ‘Unique Process’ resulted in mostly hearing people complain about unfulfilled promises made to them ten years ago and repeated five years ago. This is clear when this manifesto is read properly. There is a degree of self-admission in the concluding section…”

“Its 15-point agenda for socio-economic and political transformation contains many such assurances which have been repeated ad nauseam in the past,” it says, citing the promise to pass the women’s reservation bill and increasing allocations on public health and education. The editorial also accuses the Congress of carrying forward policies that create wide economic divides.

LEFT ALTERNATIVE

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The CPI too has taken on the Congress and its manifesto in its New Age, claiming, once again, that it’s a “rehash” of the party’s 2004 and 2009 manifestos. The editorial blames Central governments of the last two decades for pursuing economic policies that have led to “miseries” for the common man. It says the Congress still doesn’t realise this: “The Congress is not ready to even hint any reversal of this anti-people disastrous course of development…” It goes on to talk about various sectors, such as health and education, and points out the deficiencies in them. It concludes by making a pitch for an “alternative based on alternative policies”, which the Left and other secular, democratic forces can provide.

POLITICISED TERROR

The CPI(ML)’s ML Update claims that, with elections round the corner, “politicisation” of terror investigations is being witnessed. “As the elections unfold, it is disturbing to note a trend of communalisation and politicisation of terror investigations. In the month of March, there has been a concerted attempt by investigative agencies and by sections of the media, to create an image of the BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi, as a leader who is the target of terrorists and to foster suspicion and hatred against the minority community as well,” it says.

It says the Delhi police press conference, after the arrest of four youths in Rajasthan, was uncalled for. The editorial concludes, “The electoral purpose of such unsubstantiated assertions and political bias and the use of torture, can never serve the cause of the truth or identify the true perpetrators of terror attack.”

Compiled by Ruhi Tewari