BMC polls are almost around the corner, and political parties including Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) -- the newest entrant in the Mumbai civic polls are leaving no stone unturned to garner support from citizens and citizens groups. Taking this plan forward, three citizen activists attached to River March, a citizens movement to rejuvenate Mumbai rivers joined Aam Aadmi Party and two of them will be contesting BMC elections from Borivali.
The three activists Gopal Jhaveri, Rajiv Kothari and Pankaj Trivedi joined AAP, while Jhaveri and Kothari will be contesting the BMC elections on AAP's ticket from Borivali east.
Jhaveri will be contesting from ward no 13, Kothari will be contesting from ward 10, both wards currently are Bhartiya Janata Party stronghold. While Vidyarthi Singh is the sitting corporator of ward 13, Jitendra Patel is the sitting corporator of ward 10.
"Our decision to join AAP is because we feel that none of the other political parties is doing what they are supposed to. Municipality and municipal system need a focus on civic issues, political agenda and ideologies of political parties have no place hear. Still maximum time most of the work done is due to political agenda. There is an urgent need for participation from citizens in municipal elections," said Jhaveri.
He added: "Praja foundation's report has been time and again revealed that how these political parties and corporators attached to them have not taken issues that really matter, have failed to ask right questions. Many corporators are not accessible to the public easily. The majority of these corporators only take up issues they take up are those which give them the limelight. We realised this when we were working on river march and Mumbai march issues. However, voting for them, getting them into power is nothing but our fault, and what other options do we have. By participating in this system we want to create that option for citizens, we are one of them."
Kothari on the other hand said that AAP is a party that started with the sole basis of citizens activism. "We wanted to take part in the system and take up the real issues of Mumbaikars and not list out political agendas. Unless we participate in the system, we have no rights to complaint,"he said.
AAP in March this year held a webinar with members of ALMs across Mumbai presenting their roadmap for BMC elections 2022. Planning to contest all seats, AAP’s tagline in the invite was ‘citizen activism to clean politics’. As many as 23 ALMs (Advanced Locality Management) had openly extended their support to AAP for the BMC elections.