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Candidates for municipal polls to declare assets too

The State Election Commission has made it mandatory for those contesting local self-government body elections to declare their wealth, reports Sanjeev Shivadekar.

india Updated: Nov 04, 2006 23:09 IST

Early next year, before deciding your vote at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections, it would be a good idea to go online and see how much wealth the various candidates in your ward have earned.

The State Election Commission has made it mandatory for those contesting local self-government body elections to declare their wealth, just like during Assembly and Parliament polls.

As far as the city goes, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to make all details regarding civic elections available on its website, making affidavit filed by candidates available to one and all.

And this may very well influence an individual's vote, especially in cases of candidates seeking another term.

SA Naik, officer on special duty for the forthcoming civic elections, said BMC officials have begun implementation of the project to make the entire information regarding civic elections available online.

It is beginning with the computerisation of the election department.

Once the plan is implemented, voters will be able to look for everything regarding elections — their names in the voters' list, the ward they would be enrolled in, and affidavits of all candidates contesting the elections.

During counting, the results will be immediately made available on the website, Naik added.

The address of the website will be declared when it is ready.

Civic activists welcomed the move

"We welcome the move. The BMC should also publish the affidavits in newspapers as not everybody has access to the internet," said GR Vora, a civic activist.

Vora also added that the BMC should go a step further and declare assets of the corporators every year. "That way, the citizens would come to know how the corporators are getting richer once they are elected," he stressed.

• Over 83 lakh citizens would be casting their franchise for civic elections scheduld for early 2007.

• Going by the specification of the election commission, which has categorically said that every polling booth should have near about 1000 voters, approximately 8,500 polling centres would be needed for the election process.