Anil Sharma

The politics of promises

I want to draw the attention of the citizens of India to this BJP ad which gained a lot of sympathy during the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections:

The lady in the ad highlights how increasing fuel prices forced their family to use public transport, not even a scooter. This ad was released by the BJP on both TV & radio before the elections and created quite a buzz. It lead people to debate that fuel prices could have been lower than they were. The BJP won an absolute majority in the national elections and formed the government.

On the 7th day of formation of the government, the new government increased diesel prices. On the 26th day, they increased rail fare prices by 14%.

Not only has this lead to disappointment, it highlights how the politics of promises can no longer work in India. People are now smarter, connected & well informed than ever before. Politicians and parties cannot make false promises and brush it under the carpet after victory. This Idea ad, released just before the elections, needs to be remembered in the same light as the BJP campaign ads.

Technology makes it so easy to pull out a previous promise made by political parties. On top of that, you have a large base of youngsters engaged in politics, with a dream to shape a better India.

While the government may be forced to increase prices, pre-poll promises will continue to haunt them and damage their reputation for a long time to come.


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