A city-based non-government organisation is providing citizens an opportunity to widen their involvement in civic and governance issues. Action for Good Governance and Networking in India (Agni) has decided to organise public meetings with elected members of legislative assembly (MLAs) in all 36 constituencies in the city, before and after every assembly session.
These meetings will give citizens a platform from which to communicate their problems to their representatives.
“Our primary aim is to make our elected representatives accountable after the elections. We are in the process of preparing a citizens’ charter of demands, which we will present to all the candidates from major political parties by next week, urging them to sign it,” said Shyama Kulkarni, trustee, Agni. She added that Agni will also urge MLAs to conduct public meetings after the Assembly sessions, to convey to citizens the outcome of discussions held on the issues raised by them.
The charter will also list seven other broad demands, related to subjects that are included in the state list to be fulfilled by the city MLAs.
“We are also planning to include a demand that MLAs must consult people on how they plan to spend their local area development funds. Since it is taxpayers’ money, citizens must be taken into confidence and informed how it is going to be used,” said Kulkarni.
Agni, which had held a mass public meeting on the railway budget with MPs four years ago, is planning to conduct such meetings more frequently. It has also been active in raising awareness on voter registration, and organising ‘meet your candidates’ events before every election, apart from discussing different issues regularly with the government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.