So, how do you get Mumbai to come out and vote on election day? With the highest voter turnout in the city in recent times being a mere 49% (1992), citizen groups are all geared up to tackle the difficult task of ensuring an impressive voter turnout for the February 16 civic polls.
The groups' plans range from organising enough polling stations in a ward, to presenting candidates' report cards and agendas, to arranging for cars to take handicapped and senior citizens to polling booths.
Rajkumar Sharma, coordinator for Action for Good governance and Networking in India (AGNI) in Chembur, said, "To get people to believe their vote counts, we will put up posters drawing attention to the problems in the ward, with prior permission from the election commission."
AGNI will also be distributing pamphlets with details of their candidates' educational qualifications, public service record and criminal records, if any. "Often, people are clueless about the candidates contesting in their wards," Sharma said.
Indrani Malkani, trustee, V Citizens Action Network, which functions in the Malabar Hill ward, said, "We are in talks with the election commission and the civic body to have as many polling stations as possible in each ward, so that people do not have to walk too far to cast their vote."