In less than a month, the candidates you vote for will decide how good your roads will be and whether you get clean water and more open spaces in your area. Before you go out to vote, find out how your representatives fared the last term.
Between 2013 and 2016, the Bharatiya Janata Party was the best performing party, but the Shiv Sena’s corporators consistently ranked Number 1, according to a report card by NGO Praja.
The performance was measured on various parameters — councillors who asked the most and least questions, raised issues that mattered to you and those who were most accessible to solve your woes.
The analysis showed the BJP, with 31 corporators in the civic body, fared the best, scoring an average of 63.1 points, followed by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) with 60.86 points and the Shiv Sena with 60.51 points.
The BMC’s dominant party Sena, however, scored brownie points by bagging the top councillor position thrice in the last five years. Sena corporator Hemangi Worlikar was ranked the best twice, and Mayor Snehal Ambekar was the top councillor in 2014.
The ranking of top councillors is based on an average over the last five years.
The list has four Sena corporators and three from the BJP. The rating is measured by councillors’ attendance, the questions they asked and the importance of the issues. Praja obtained the details under the Right To Information (RTI) Act.
The analyses is also based surveys conducted in the 227 electoral wards.
The parties are scored by summing up performance of all corporators . This means the overall scores of parties with a larger presence, like the Sena or Congress are likely to go down.
Milind Mhaske, the project co-ordinator at Praja, agreed and said the corporators in the Sena and BJP (75 and 32 respectively) could be a reasons for the BJP’s higher ranking, but added the average score of all the parties was dismal.
There is a lot at stake for allies Sena and BJP during these elections, which will take place on February 21.
While the BJP will test the waters in Mumbai, after its huge victory in the Lok Sabha and Maharashtra Assembly elections in 2014, this will be the first time the Sena will be contesting after its chief Bal Thackeray’s death in 2012.
Although talks of an alliance between the two parties are on, there has been no official declaration yet.
“The difference in their performance, in terms of scores, has been marginal. But none of the parties scored even above 70, which is a huge disappointment,” Mhaske said.
The Sena also had more corporators scoring when it came to questions asked in the last five years and the importance of the issues raised at committee meetings. Six of the 10 corporators that citizens said were most accessible are also from the Sena.
But three Sena councillors also found themselves in a list of corporators who asked questions not related to citizen complaints.
Despite its small presence in the BMC, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), with just 28 corporators, managed to feature in the top 10 list, the number and importance of questions asked and raising citizens’ issues in the meetings. MNS corporator Santosh Dhuri from Worli was top-ranked in 2016.
Mhaske credits this to the energy with which MNS won the 28 seats in the civic elections in 2012. It was represented by just seven corporators earlier.
“The party did well because it wanted to prove itself,” he added.
Opposition party Congress, despite its numbers, did not make a mark in the top 10 categories.
The top 10 councillors in each category has the same names — opposition leader Pravin Chheda from Ghatkopar and standing committee member Sunil More from Naigaum. Being the main opposition, the party has 52 members in the corporation.
The Congress also has four corporators in the list of those who scored least in perceived performance.
“Performances are getting better with each year, but there still needs to be an improvement in the quality of their deliberations, better participation in meetings by corporators and doing work that citizens appreciate,” Mhaske said.