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CPI(M) manifesto - misleading facts and too broad?

Writing this to point out what fact based means, this post is inspired by TN Ninnan's editorial in Saturday's Business Standard. He picked out a few statements from CPI-M's new election website, and argued that a few of them are not supported by facts, or even observations. Mr Ninnan has picked out certain statements from CPI-M manifesto (here), and taken objections to them:

In the sixty years of independence ... the rich, urban and rural, have reaped the benefits of “development”, while the vast majority has sunk further and further into poverty and hunger

What is vast majority? Why not provide any stats to support the statement? If you think absolute numbers, perhaps this can be justified this. Assuming 50% of us were poor in 1947, and the number is only 30% now, the absolute numbers would be 20 crores vs 30 crores. The point is, whatever your angle, you must mention the facts, because you are supposed to be a responsible national political party.

The government flaunts a 8.6 per cent growth in GDP for four consecutive years till 2008. What does this growth mean? Till 2007, India recorded the fastest growth rate of billionaires in the world. Four out of the ten richest people in the world are Indians.

Why pick out just the billionaire stat? Why does the party not explain why countries "tout" GDP as a measure of growth, , or the areas where the GDP growth has not had an impact? Has CPI-M devised another single consolidated stat to measure or represent growth?

When the international prices of oil dipped to $40 a barrel the government reduced the prices of aviation turbine fuel eleven times between September 2008 and February 2009 to help out the private airlines. But the prices of petrol and diesel was reduced only twice during this period and cooking gas only once

Why not add (as Mr TN Ninnan pointed out) that ATF prices are market driven, petrol diesel prices are not? Further, why not also add that when international oil prices jumped 250% higher to $150/brl, our petrol/diesel prices didn't go up by more than 20%?

There are a few more objectionable and arguable facts that would be hard to get backing facts and stats for, but the point is this.

  • What good is manifesto with neither clear promises, nor fact based statements?
  • Does a single manifesto for the whole nation make sense?
  • What should I, the urban voter, look forward to in this "one size fits all" manifesto?

I would suggest that parties separate their manifesto from "incumbent beating". We need clear promises, for example, when CPI-M says that "public distribution system has been enfeebled", I want to know how they want to fix that.

Not just to CPI-M, but for all 'national' parties, I think its time that they prepared multiple versions of the manifesto. Our country is not a "one size fits all". I need to know your plan and promises for my state, and me as an "service-starved urban dweller".

Naveen's picture

CPI-M Manifesto


CPI-M's election manifesto (all 31 pages of it !), much like the trash dished out by various parties prior elections, promises to undo all the "evils" done by the NDA (particularly the 123 agreement) & appears to have been designed to appeal to the trade unions & others that support them.

Overcoming malpractices & corruption with PDS in this country is a formidable task, if not an impossible task. It appears that it can never be rid of corruption, unless poverty itself is completely erradicated, by which time, PDS itself will have become redundant !

One thing that was'nt surprising to me in the CPI-M manifesto is the point about strikes (pg.23) :


Right to Strike
• Safeguarding the right to organize, collective bargaining and the right to strike for all workers, including government employees; Enacting legislation to annul the Supreme Court judgment prohibiting strikes
• Ratifying the ILO Convention 151, which accords government employees the rights, which other citizens enjoy, subject to their administrative responsibilities.


Aging dinosaurs

According to the CPI(M) - Two legs bad, three legs good. The third leg can be provided by China. comment guidelines

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