If you have a suggestion to better the city and would like chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to hear you out, you could go online and interact with him directly.
Of the citizens who had made suggestions for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) manifesto for the upcoming Mumbai civic polls, Fadnavis will hold a discussion with 20 shortlisted residents on Monday at 6.15 pm.
During the discussion, he will also take questions and suggestions from a live online audience. The live feed will be available at www.ourcityouragenda.com. Citizens can participate by raising questions, offering suggestions and voting on issues by using the hashtag #AskMahaCM.
The BJP had launched a campaign aimed at creating a crowd-sourced manifesto. It sought suggestions from citizens on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and through phone calls. The party said it received nearly 7 lakh suggestions.
So far, the BJP is the only party that has not released its manifesto for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls slated for February 21. The party said it hopes to create a citizens’ charter in its manifesto, as a step towards transparency.
“This initiative reflects the essence of a true democracy, in which the government represents the thoughts and concerns of its people and tries to address them. We are committed to drafting our manifesto and subsequently, our policies in municipal corporations — in the context of the suggestions we received,’’ said Fadnavis.
Fadnavis uses Twitter daily to talk about his meetings, policies and decisions. He also interacts with citizens directly through the platform. However, this is the first time he will hold a live discussion with Mumbaiites.
Recently, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray went live on Facebook to answer questions about his party’s plans for the civic polls.
Political parties releasing manifestos ahead of the civic polls is seen as a routine exercise, and politicians are rarely made to account for not fulfilling these promises. It remains to be seen if the BJP’s exercise can change this or if it will remain only a gimmick.