With Mumbai headed to the polls on April 24, candidates from different constituencies are upping the ante, with campaigning on in full swing. Most candidates are visiting their constituencies and wooing the electorate fiercely now, not surprising since polling day is just three weeks away.

We have seen new age methods used by political parties to woo voters. One AAP candidate used Google hangout to connect, he said, with the youth. Another candidate watched the T20 final with people from his constituency.

Social media is being used adroitly by most candidates who hope to strike a chord with the younger generation. Of course, the tried and trusted banners, padyatras and posters are being used too.

Several residential societies and organisations are also arranging ‘Meet Your Candidate’ interactive sessions, where residents get to know the persons contesting from their area and also get an opportunity to speak with them.

People must use their time and the chance given to speak to their candidates, ask the MP (if he is present at these meets) sensible, thought-provoking and hard hitting questions that address larger national issues, since this is the Lok Sabha elections.

If you go prepared and with good questions you can at least gauge if this candidate is serious, or simply full of platitudes bluffing his way through and trying to pull a fast one on the residents.

It is to the people’s advantage to use the platform to show their representatives that they cannot be taken for granted, they are not fools but thinking, aware individuals who are apprised of problems. When candidates and their cronies realise that they have a sharp, informed electorate they would be less likely to think they can get away with placebos instead of problem solving.

Use this time to know and pin down your representatives on hot button issues for that is what democracy is about.