Instead of waiting for the politicians’ manifesto, citizen activists have decided to present them with the people’s list of demands.
Some of the major demands listed by the activists are that the elected members should hold public meetings on a decided day to discuss public projects.
The citizens should be also involved in decision-making of how the MLA funds are to be used.
Further, the activists plan to conduct 'meet your candidate' campaigns, similar to the ones held during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. All major candidates in the constituency will be invited to share their vision and interact with the voters.
MLAs in the state get Rs. 2 crore as development fund annually, which is used for public projects. “Generally, the MLA fund is utilised in specific pockets of the constituency and for petty works such as putting up railings, which is otherwise carried out by the civic body as well. Therefore, the MLA should take people’s concern by calling meeting to see how to use the money,” said Rajkumar Sharma, member, Action for Good Governance and Action in India (AGNI).
Activists said that instead listening to agendas listed by political parties, they would like to present their local issues to the candidates. “Our manifesto will comprise local issues and, if possible, potential solutions. We will request them [the candidates] to assure us that if they are elected, they will address these problems,” said Anand Castelino, secretary general of Bombay Catholic Sabha.
The manifestos will address general problems such as traffic congestion, lack of public transport which adds to the traffic, encroachment by hawkers and slums dwellers, and infrastructure projects moving at low pace.
Mahiti Adhikar Manch (MAM) said they will continue to create awareness about the None of the Above (Nota) option even in the Assembly elections. “Our first priority is to encourage people to come and vote, but if they dislike all candidates, we will ask them to opt for Nota,” said Bhaskar Prabhu, convener, MAM.