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How good is your leader?

With state Assembly polls round the corner, citizens groups in the city came together and unveiled a Citizens Charter — a list of things that they demand from the candidates contesting the elections, report Naziya Alvi & Bhavika Jain.

india Updated: Aug 31, 2009 01:08 IST
Naziya Alvi & Bhavika Jain

With state Assembly polls round the corner, citizens groups in the city came together and unveiled a Citizens Charter — a list of things that they demand from the candidates contesting the elections.

In the meeting held on Sunday at Don Bosco school, Matunga, under the aegis of Mumbai Election Watch (MEW) an umbrella group was formed to act as a watchdog committee.

In the meeting, constituency-wise monitoring groups were formed. These groups will carry out registering drives, meet your candidates’ sessions and other informative seminars that will help other people make an informed choice.

“It’s only during the elections that we can get ourselves heard, and we should all take advantage of these times and put forth our demands,” said Sheilu Sreenivasan, Founder.

Holding youngsters largely responsible for the low turnout in the recent Lok Sabha Elections, actor-cum-social activist Rahul Bose said: “We must convince the youngsters to vote by giving them reasons that directly affect them.”

The comparative data will include financial status, criminal records and education qualification of the candidates.

The MEW will use mediums such as pamphlets, Internet and audio-visuals to create awareness amongst the citizens, especially the youth of the city.

The meeting also saw launch of the Mumbai Citizens Charter, a common paper complied by the citizens marking their demands from the government. The charter has three major demands — better quality of

life for the citizens, rule of law and citizen’s consultation,

participation in the local governance.

The first demand includes issues pertaining to water, power, basic infrastructure and housing. The second demand of the charter seeks to ‘save police from political control’.

“There is a deliberate attempt to misguide public on police reforms that aims to restrict the political interference in the working of police force as it goes against them,” said Julio Riberio, former police commissioner.

Dr Ajit Ranade, a member of Association for Democratic Rights (ADR), also explained to the voters as to how they can get all the details about their local candidates, their track records, assets, criminal cases, if any, by just sending an SMS on the number 56070.

“Just write myneta space and your city pin code, we will provide you with all the details of the candidate. This, however, will only become active 10 days prior to the polling date,” Ranade said.