Mumbai Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Citizens Manifestos Hopeful For Some And Disappointing For Others

Mumbai Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Citizens Manifestos Hopeful For Some And Disappointing For Others

This was the first time that the organisation had launched a citizens charter and is hopeful that their charter will make a difference.

Dhairya GajaraUpdated: Saturday, May 18, 2024, 10:36 PM IST
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FPJ

As Mumbai geared up for the Lok Sabha elections and political parties started releasing their election manifestos, a lot of residents associations and citizen welfare organisations in Mumbai also launched their manifestos describing their problems and demanding solutions for them. However, with various citizens’ manifestos available for the candidates to look into, the organisations are sceptical about their demands being met but are also hopeful that some candidates will address their issues.

As a city that has seen a rise in residents associations and civil organisations working for the betterment of the citizens of the city, these vigilant organisations also make sure that during the elections, they seize the opportunity and make their voices heard. As all the political parties announced their candidates and started launching their election manifestos, these organisations and associations also released their manifestos which included long lists of their issues and their demands to make their locality or the city a better place.

Residents associations like Powai Action Forum, Chandivali Citizens Welfare Association, Govandi Citizens Welfare Forum, Raheja Estate Association, Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizens Association and others released their citizens manifestos. On the other hand citizens welfare associations like Mumbai North Central District Forum, MumbaiMarch, Action for good Governance in India and similar organisations also came up with a citizens charter.

These citizens' manifestos and charters were also released by the people before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and a lot of them went unheard by the candidates who were elected as the member of parliament from the city. However, some of the candidates actually worked for the demands made through the manifestos and therefore people are hopeful that their issues will be addressed by the soon-to-be elected parliamentarians.

Mumbai North Central District Forum, which works for the welfare of citizens and their redressal, had launched a comprehensive citizens charter in partnership with the Free Press Journal. Trivankumar Karnani, founder of MNCDF, said that it is dependent upon the will power of the parliamentarian if they understand people’s needs and are interested to solve them.

“MNCDF had launched a citizens charter before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as well and presented it to all the candidates. Poonam Mahajan had in fact worked on some of the demands and had even brought a private bill in the parliament for strengthening the animal welfare laws, which was one of our demands. Then there were some parliamentarians who were overly busy with padyatras and wooing slum dwellers that they did not have time for the housing societies and resident welfare associations,” said Karnani.

The Govandi Citizens Welfare Association has released its own citizens charter outlining a series of crucial initiatives aimed at addressing the multifaceted challenges in the locality. Like all other residents associations, the residents of Govandi also wished to handover their manifesto to the candidates contesting from their Mumbai North-East constituency. However, one of the candidates from the two major parties, did not even show up to listen to their demands.

Shaikh Faiyaz Alam, convenor of Govandi Citizens Welfare Forum, said, “We approached both the candidates of the two major parties and one of them came in our locality, accepted the manifesto and assured us of solving our issues. However, the other candidate did not even have a word with us. We sent him repeated mails asking for his time but received no reply.”

Another citizens welfare organisation MumbaiMarch also released its citizens charter with a list of demands from the entire city to be fulfilled by the parliamentarians. This was the first time that the organisation had launched a citizens charter and is hopeful that their charter will make a difference.

“We are hopeful because unlike other citizen manifestos we also provide solutions to the problems that we are putting forward. This has been welcomed by a lot of candidates and some of them have assured us to solve issues like traffic, Charkop lake and others mentioned in the charter. Citizens also need to come forward and think of solutions, this way it becomes easy for the parliamentarians to solve the issues,” said Avinash Thawani, co-founder of MumbaiMarch.

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