Find solutions to earn our votes, activists tell parties ahead of civic polls in Mumbai | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Find solutions to earn our votes, activists tell parties ahead of civic polls in Mumbai

With the civic polls scheduled next month, citizen groups are flooded with demands from local corporators and candidates for meetings to interact with their members.

mumbai Updated: Jan 28, 2017 00:45 IST
Sanjana Bhalerao
Now, citizen groups in the city are submitting their charter of demands to all  political parties and asking them  to consider their demands before zeroing in on the candidates in each of the 227 wards.
Now, citizen groups in the city are submitting their charter of demands to all political parties and asking them to consider their demands before zeroing in on the candidates in each of the 227 wards.(HT PHOTO)

After trying their best to get the attention of the city’s elected representatives, citizen groups and activists have decided to go the politicians’ way to get their job done.

With the civic polls scheduled next month, citizen groups are flooded with requests from local corporators and candidates for meetings. This can be seen as a move to garner votes, but activists are also seeing this as an opportunity. According to the activists,they will support any candidate who can promise and present a solution to the problems they feel should be solved.

Some of the long-pending problems of activists include the citizens’ right to open space, footpaths free of encroachment, parking facilities and the delayed implementation of the Development Plan 2034 among others.

Now, citizen groups are submitting their charter of demands to all political parties and asking them to consider their demands before zeroing in on the candidates in each of the 227 wards. Starting Friday, candidates will have time to file nominations till February 3.

Clean Heritage Colaba Residents Association, who along with the support of political parties had got the parking policy stalled, is submitting the problems of their wards to each party.

“The problems in the wards are interrelated. In many places, there is no space for pedestrians or for residents to park their cars as most would either be illegally blocked by hawkers or by illegal parking. The candidates should be well aware of the problems and should have solutions before they file their nomination from the area,” said Pervez Cooper, vice-president of the association.

Shailesh Gandhi, RTI activist, has also prepared a 10-point demand charter for the politicians, including the need for open spaces, waste management among other issues that plague the city.

After the Shiv Sena and BJP’s decision to go solo in the civic polls, both parties are trying to garner the support of citizen groups.

With many demands like parking policy, hawkers and open space policy pending, citizens groups want assurance from the politicians before they pledge their support to them.

Action For Good Governance and Networking in India (AGNI) is also sending a citizen demand charter to all parties this week. AGNI has also started a campaign in schools where children will be asking their parents to vote on February 21.

“We will be sending our demands to all the political parties and also hold a discussion. Through the campaign, we are urging citizens to vote in large numbers,” said Shyama Kulkarni, trustee, AGNI.

When these citizen candidates won

In 2007, Adolf D’Souza, the city’s first citizen candidate, was elected from Juhu in the BMC polls.

Inspired by his success, three citizen groups — Mumbai 227, Lok Satta and Mumbai Nagrik Satta had contested the 2012 municipal polls.

In 2012, independent candidate and a self-proclaimed citizen candidate, Makrand Narvekar, won the election from Colaba. However, he has been criticized for supporting the ruling Shiv Sena in the BMC.

Various citizen groups have in this election too come together to nominate a candidate

Instead of a citizen candidate, many groups are also trying to support a candidate from a political party who promises them a solution to local problems

What do citizen groups hold for these elections?

After the Shiv Sena and BJP’s decision to go solo in the civic polls, both parties are trying to garner the support of citizen groups.

What the groups are saying?

With many demands like parking policy, hawkers and open space policy pending, citizen groups want assurance from the politicians before they pledge their support to them.

Citizen groups in the city are submitting their charter of demands to all political parties and asking them to consider their demands before they zero in on the candidates in each of the 227 wards

Read:

Uddhav vs Fadnavis: Battle for BMC set to get bitter

How the polite, shy Uddhav Thackeray made the Shiv Sena roar