Accountability seems to be a new buzzword this election.
Sensing the push for greater transparency, especially after the introduction of the sunshine Right to Information Act four years ago, candidates this time are promising everything from ‘urban panchayats’ to open houses for voters to air their grievances and regular disclosure of how MLAs’ funds are spent.
In Vile Parle, Congress candidate Krishna Hegde (42) has promised to update his electorate on his achievements through his personal website.
“Not just my voters, anyone around the world will be able to view my work and comment on it,” said the first-time candidate.
In Andheri East, citizen consensus candidate Hansel D’Souza (51) said he would form an urban panchayat to “decentralise power” in his constituency.
“There will be at least 157 such direct representatives of the people,” he said. “In addition, every month we will have an open house session where citizens can walk in and air their grievances.”
Kalina BJP candidate Dinanath Tiwari (57) plans to coordinate with non-governmental organisations and chawl committee members before undertaking development work in his Assembly segment.
“These groups occupy an important role in society and joining hands and taking them into confidence will prove very beneficial for overall development,” he said.
Shakeel Ahmad (40) an Independent candidate from Sion-Koliwada said all development works would be undertaken after consultation with locals.
“A lot of money is wasted due to duplication of work and this will be stopped,” he said. “I will ensure that there is total transparency in tendering processes.”
He also promised to declare his assets annually to maintain probity in public life.
“Voters are now far more aware and there is a greater demand for accountability,” said political analyst Venkatesh Kumar. “Politicians know that they cannot just take voters for a ride anymore.”