Tuesday, June 22, 2021
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City activists want parties to fight civic election solo

At a time when senior leaders of political parties are busy with seat-sharing talks to stitch an alliance ahead of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) election next month, city activists are of the view that parties should fight it solo since “alliance is the tool to shirk responsibility when they (parties) fail to deliver.”

Noted social worker, film actor and writer Gerson da Cunha said alliance is the tool to pass the buck and shirk responsibility and therefore all should go solo.

“Forging an alliance allows parties to pass the buck when they fail to deliver. They must be held accountable and therefore, I am of the view that parties need to go solo,” da Cunha said, adding, having alliance and showing dissent cannot go together.

Former Central Information Commissioner and RTI activist Shailesh Gandhi opined that BJP should not align with Shiv Sena.

“This is the time for BJP to show its character as a party with a difference. It should fight the polls on its own strength. Having alliance may or may not help these parties, but surely can help in good governance if they fight solo.” said Gandhi.

Anandini Thakoor, another activist, who runs trust to address social issues, said, “It would be unfortunate if BJP ties with Sena. I am not supporting BJP but would want this party to take reins as it (BJP) is governing fairly in state.”

Former bureaucrat turned lawyer Abha Singh echoed da Cunha’s view saying, alliance “mushrooms corruption.”

“I would like all parties to fight civic election on their own, because under the garb of an alliance, these parties and their leaders get the chance to indulge in corrupt practices,” said Singh pointing out at how blacklisted contractors have been getting the work repeatedly in the Mumbai civic body.

“Mumbaikars should vote for one party, otherwise this vicious cycle is never going to stop,” Singh said.

Nitai Mehta, founder and managing trustee of Praja Foundation, a watchdog on civic bodys affairs, suggested amending the Municipal Act, to bring in the change in the functioning of civic body.

“Nothing will change whether parties fight election solo or by forging alliance. The need is to bring in a systematic change in the working at the civic body. When Municipal Act is amended and elected representatives are held responsible, then only can we have good governance,” Mehta said.

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