Monday, 6 February 2012

Candidates begin fielding questions

The citys first meet your candidate session for the February 16 BMC polls was held for Bandra (West) wards 95 and 96 on Sunday.At the session,organized at St Teresas High School by the NGO Action for Good Governance and Networking in India (Agni),people subjected the candidates to questions on issues ranging from hawkers to illegal constructions and banners to the proliferation of pubs and restaurants.
The questions started for candidates of ward 96,reserved for OBC women.The ward,which includes Bandra Fort,Pali Market and the National Library,has three poll contestants: Karen DMello (Congress),Ashwini Rasal (BJP) and Ameeta Bhirwandekar (MNS).
DMello,a businesswoman and Bandra Gymkhana member,seemed to have done her homework well.She promised to promote sports for children and be a phone call away if elected.Rasal,who comes from a family of advocates,was asked how familiar she was with ward 96,since she belonged to a neighbouring ward.She said she was well aware of the issues concerning Bandra.Bhirwandekar was not present at the session.
Then came the turn of ward 95 candidates,who number 25 (the ward is unreserved,or open).Again,the MNS candidate,Mahesh Gogavale,was not present.Neither was Williams Ronald,the contestant fielded by Mumbai 227,a platform for independents.Some candidates,including Shyam Jaswar (Akhil Bharatiya Sena) and two independents,complained to TOI that they had not been invited to the session.But an organizer said an announcement was made in the press and official letters of invitation had been sent to all candidates.She said independents approached Agni on their own since the Ngo did not have their addresses.
Among those present were sitting corporator Asif Zakaria (Congress),Ajit Maniar (BJP) and independents Soma Manghnani and Shayne Cardoz.Zakaria and Maniar promised to make strict guidelines and reconsider policies for pubs and restaurants.While Boston University-returned Manghnani said she wanted to improve infrastructure,Cardoz stressed on improving waste management and education.
All candidates present were made to sign a 10-point charter of demands by citizens.

FIGHTING FIT: A meet your candidate session for contestants in wards 95 and 96,Bandra (West),was organized on Sunday

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