As the civic poll is round the corner, all the sitting corporators and aspiring candidates of major political parties are busy wooing voters, with some said to be even distributing gifts and arranging foreign trips for the electorate.
Besides the seasoned politicians, there are also a few fresh faces hoping to succeed in the election, and they are spending their time getting to know their voters and persuading them to repose their faith in them.
These newcomers are asking the electorate to give them a chance, saying they will be more dedicated to voters than to party supremos. These young professionals are stressing on door-to-door visits for their campaign.
Anagha Paranjape-Purohit (36) is one such new face. An architect and planner, she is from the Pune Janhit Aghadi and hopes to make it from Panel Number 29. She has been working with the Mohalla Committee of the Paud Road area for five years and has observed that people in power can speed up development work if they wish to.
"I have decided to enter electoral politics but don't want to be involved with any political party as one has to follow only the leaders' diktat," she said. It was not easy for her to convince her in-laws when she decided to enter politics.
"I took the decision to go into politics overnight and started campaigning in the area," she said. In Panel Number 29, which consists of Bavdhan, Bhusari Colony and Mahatma Society, over 70 per cent of the population consists of well-educated, middle-class people and their needs vary from security concerns to bad roads and scarcity of water.
"Voters have now become aware about the existing situation and that factors like star campaigners don't work in the current political system," said Paranjape-Purohit. Paranjape-Purohit spends five hours daily building her contacts with the voters, who she says now support her efforts.
The IT professional
Siddharthya Roy (30), an IT professional from the Pune Nagrik Sangh-atana, hopes to win from Panel Number 9.
To fight the upcoming civic poll from the Aundh-Baner-Balewadi area, this young man resigned from his job in spite of the hefty salary it brought.
Roy's basic strategy to win the poll is simplicity and trans- parency. "I have told the people campaigning for me that neither will they get money for it nor will any kind of refreshment be provided," he said. He has also asked his team to not display banners featuring him and has promised he will share details of all the expenditure for the poll preparations.
"The main problem in my panel is bad roads and public health, which has now become a serious concern because of the unclean Ram Nadi in Bavdhan," said Roy. "My only motive is to change the political system, which is corrupt and least interes- ted in citizens' problems." Roy said he drew inspiration from social activist Anna Hazare's movement against corruption and that he was receiving overwhelming resp-onse from family and friends.