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Friday, July 19, 2019

Maharashtra: Assembly Elections

Water, housing or corruption?


No clear agenda for municipal elections in Mumbai
DANISH REYAZ | Issue Dated: January 22, 2012, New Delhi
Tags : maharashtra | zila parishad | BMC | MNS | mumbai | madhava bhandari | uttar pradesh | BJP |

On February 7 and 16, Maharashtra will cast vote for candidates to 27 zila parishad and 10 municipal corporation posts. Unlike last year, when most of the political parties concentrated on issues such as water, electricity and pollution, this time round, the agenda doesn't seem to be as clear cut.

In Mumbai, the confusion and indifference is telling. The Shiv Sena, who has been in power in the Brihan Mumbai Corporation (BMC) says that Mumbaikars are happy with their performance. The opposition parties, however, disagree. “What has Shiv Sena done for Mumbai? They have not done any work in the name of public service. Our agenda is development,” says Kirpa Shankar Singh, president of the Mumbai Pradesh Congress.

Singh told TSI that apart from addressing the issue of development, the party will also attempt to seek the city's secular vote and highlight corruption in BMC.

Abdul Qasar Chaudhuri, spokesperson for the state Samajwadi Party says that the party will be concentrating on the issue of water mafia, “People are not getting water for daily use. Water distribution is in the hands of the water mafia that has the tacit support of local police and administration.” Chaudhuri says that his party's work in Govandi, the constituency of the Samajwadi Party state president, Abu Asim Azmi will be upheld as model. “We will explore Govandi as a role model for this election and urge people to vote for us to solve the water crisis issue,” said Chaudhuri.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) continues to cling to its call to bar non Maharashtra people from working in the city. Haji Arafat Shaikh, president MNS says, “Mumbai is dirty because people from North India have captured the footpath. They are selling vegetable on 'hela gadi. Our agenda in this elections would be - clean Mumbai'.”

The mood in the BJP camp is not very different from that of MNS. Madhava Bhandari, the spokesperson for the state BJP party said, “For us the main agenda is affordable housing for the middle and poor classes. Water, electricity and road safety are other important issues. Also, there is a constant migration to Mumbai.Earlier it was people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, now it's Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Afghans."

For the ordinary Mumbaikar on the street, political slogans and promises made at election time mean little as they navigate the city and eke survival. It's up to the parties to deliver on their tall promises.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017