Guidelines for Categorization:
In a democracy, the faith voters repose in their representatives and the political institutions is sacrosanct. It is this faith that keeps the democracy alive. Hence, preserving this faith becomes important. Election Promises Tracker enables voters to monitor the performance of their governments.
What is Promise?
A promise is defined as a commitment made to the citizens through any mass-media channel including but not limited to a manifesto, public speeches, social media and assurances in the Parliament. The promises made by the political leadership as well as government leadership qualify as a promise and therefore deserve to be tracked and citizen informed about the status of their fulfillment. Currently, a majority of the promises have been taken from the manifesto. However, the larger definition of “promise” shall be applied moving forward.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the data presented is accurate, reliable, comprehensive and latest. There have been at least four rounds of rigorous examination of each of the promises. The text, as well as the context of the promise, has been considered during examination. Each promise has been examined based on the process as well as progress indicator. Our rationale is that the mere completion of action must not be considered achievement unless there is progress on the intended outcome. However, outcomes take time in a nation this vast and therefore due considerations have been given to the process as well. There is no commentary or opinion expressed with regard to the performance of the government but a plain representation of facts.
The promises have been categorized into the following 6 categories:
- Adequate Progress
- Inadequate Progress
- Yet to Start
Given below are guidelines and definition that guided us in the exercise of assigning categories to the promises.
- A promise is considered broken only if the government has failed to deliver on its promise within the timeline prescribed by the party during elections or the tenure of the government is over. In all other cases, the promise will be classified as “Yet To Start” since a democratically elected government deserves the full tenure to fulfil its promise.
- If the government has implemented an order/legislation/policy that is contrary to the promise made during the elections, then the promise is classified under “Broken” category.
- A promise will be considered “Stalled” only if at least one of the following condition is met:
- In case, the government’s action to fulfill promise has run into litigation or is held by the Courts or any such judicial body, then the promise is considered “Stalled”.
- In case, the President (or Governor or Central Government in the case of state government) has refused to grant the approval or is sitting on the proposal/policy/legislation/decision, then the promise is considered “Stalled”.
- In case the promise was to amend a legislation/regulation if the necessary changes in rules have been notified by the government, then only is the promise considered fulfilled. Any intermediary stage including cabinet approvals, tabling or passing of the bill by one or both Houses or even assent by the President is considered as “Progress” only.
- A promise is considered “Fulfilled” only if the promise has been fulfilled intext as well as spirit or the context of the promise. Example: If a political party promises health insurance scheme for citizens, a mere announcement and a budgetary outlay by the government against the scheme isn’t considered “Fulfilled” but the scheme needs to be functional and the substantial number of citizens benefited for it to be classified as “Fulfilled”.
- Whether a performance against promise is considered “Adequate” is contingent on the time the government has been in power.
- A mere announcement of intention or launch of a scheme that is not backed by initiation of necessary approvals or financial outlays is considered “Yet To Start” since a mere expression of interest doesn’t serve the people but the action does.
- In case there is a decline in performance as per some indicators under the current government from a situation that existed in previous government, then the promise is bracketed under “Yet to Start” if the government is still in power and considered “Broken” if the tenure of the government is over.
- If a promise is long and has the different status of the different parts of it, then the promise has been broken down into two and each assigned their categories.
- There are promises in the fulfillment of which Centre has a limited role since state government is the implementation agency. This is something the political party ought to have thought before making such a promise to the electorate. In all such cases as well, the same set of guidelines apply for two reasons:
- Centre has a wide variety of levers through which Centre can push states.
- The party in power should have thought through before making any such promises. Having made a promise, it is, now, for the party in power to figure out means of achieving the promised goal.
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