Thursday, January 14, 2010

RWAs pitch for citizen candidates

RWAs pitch for citizen candidates
Will Educate Voters To Shun Those With Criminal Past
TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Bangalore: Don’t be surprised if your neighbour is the candidate in your ward in next month’s BBMP polls. Be prepared for people coming to your doorstep to alert you of the criminal antecedents of candidates.
That’s part of the threepronged strategy of Resident Welfare Associations — field their own candidates, ensure those with criminal records are not elected and Bangalore’s perennial problems like uncleared garbage and potholed roads are fixed even as mega projects are conceived and executed.
They’ve been the watchdogs of the city’s governance, taking up micro and macro issues of their areas to the authorities and more often than not getting solutions implemented in the absence of elected representatives.
On Wednesday, TOI brought together representatives of 15 RWAs to debate
their agenda and the challenges in getting the right candidates. They were unanimous on one count — no candidates with criminal backgrounds. “The only solution to every Bangalorean’s woes is for RWAs to field their own candidates who understand the nuances of the problem of their area,’’ they echoed.
From ensuring that every Bangalorean exercises her franchise to being vigilant on candidates’ campaign expenditure, the RWAs are gearing up to ensure a fair and transparent election.
Their biggest concern is helping Bangaloreans choose the right candidate. “We don’t want corporators to be glorified contractors who will ensure roads are laid and garbage cleared. There are many more problems. Take the Akrama Sakrama scheme, for instance. There is no one who can give us clarity. We need well-rounded representatives. We want political parties to consult us before fielding candidates,’’ was the consensus.
When 15 organisations are talking, there are bound to be some differences. While some wanted mandatory voting to ensure every Bangalorean participated in the election, others felt the only way to do this is to field and support citizen candidates.
Accountability, curbing corruption, mandatory public hearing before citizens projects are cleared are big, big issues. These ‘people’s representatives’ are definitely setting the stage for a new Bangalore.
BBMP gives poll push to growth
The process of e-tendering raised a storm on Wednesday. BBMP officials expedited e-tendering for roads and signal-free corridors worth over Rs 3,300 cr. This was to beat the BBMP poll code of conduct which kicks in on Januray 15. Wednesday was the last working day with Thursday being a holiday for Sankranti. However, BBMP officials denied they went into overdrive

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