Necessity of Accountability & Ever-Prevailing Code of Conduct

Budgeting and forecasting are inseparable functions of management. Our political parties, however, refrain from projecting the future environment while declaring their proposed deliveries post win. Election manifestos are like a dream world. Definitely, foreign investors would have extended extensive support in case these manifestos were based on scientific and reliable statistical calculations. Every state and the nation as a whole would have been in a prosperous position until now with attributes like immense job prospects, equality of income distribution, basic facilities, and sturdy economy. Sad to notice, this isn’t real.

The real picture is distinct and blatant. Post five years of administration, the governing political groups disremember the promises they made a few years ago. Unlike in a business entity wherein past performance and future probabilities are viewed as a basis to frame policies, the uppermost echelon of entrepreneurs, MPs and MLAs, disregards any such strategic management exercise. Reason? Zero accountability and minimal control. Let’s discuss these vital wings of administration with respect to state governance.

Accountability follows responsibility. The constitution of India has defined directive principles for state policy that bestows upon the shoulders of our representatives the responsibility to deliver effective and unbiased outcomes. However, accountability remains unmentioned. Though many argue stating that the general public counts the deliveries of the government and uses voting rights as a weapon to either reward or punish the government. But, is that all? Shouldn’t there be in place a definite set of guidelines and parameters to track the deliveries of the government? Those responsible for assuring capable governance must be held accountable for what they actually delivered.

The three sessions, Budget, monsoon, and winter should be assessed, and any attempt to restrict the functioning during these sessions must be curtailed and punished too. Cut in compensation, and a body to monitor fair conduct of MPs, MLAs, and MLCs during sessions, with provision for depriving culprits of voting and attending rights shall be in place. Management embraces policy-making, implementation, and its control too. Our parliamentary sphere, however, has entirely given away with the control function. While independent committees and groups are entrusted with the task of reporting any deviations from the predetermined budget in business houses, our governments are never answerable for even wide deviations from what they proudly promised in their manifesto.

Ever thought why the model code of conduct is applicable only during the election season? Announcement of any favorable policies, carrying of large amount of money, defamatory remarks, and courtesy to any particular religion/ caste is barred only during the election period. Are these beneficial at other times (save the beneficiary and unbiased policies)? The words of the Congress candidate from Saharanpur for the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP were asked to be ignored by the Vice-President of Congress on grounds that the incidence was 6 months old. Doesn’t that conclude that our representatives are free to threaten anyone save the election period? Funny that sounds, however, is the harsh reality of our democracy.

Yes, solutions are many. The model code of conduct should be accorded legal status throughout and not just for a specific period. Behavioral aspects viz. groundless allegations, inflammatory speeches, and nuisance during parliamentary and state legislative sessions should have no space. Independent regulatory body must be constituted not only to report any deviations from the declared manifesto, but also to penalize the responsible representatives for non-delivery. Political parties must not only be encouraged; they shall be directed to rely on rational forecasts prior to committing any and everything in their manifestos. Surely, our MPs and MLAs are the ones, who are looked forward to for the framing and implementation of any piece of law; public awakening and questioning will be the driving force.

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