IAC to wash candidates' dirty linen in public

NGO said their protest would now take the form of propagating information like criminal record, assets etc of corporators-to-be so voters can make informed decisions

After Anna Hazare's Mumbai edition of the protest ended in a whimper, many are speculating India Against Corruption's next move. The NGO said that the agitation would continue, except that instead of being on a ground, it will be a stir led by information on candidates for the civic polls in February, and will be marked by the same zest that characterised the organisation's earlier remonstrations.

What Next? Volunteers wrap up at MMRDA ground, BKC after activist
Anna Hazare called off his fast on Wednesday.

The IAC members claim this is the best opportunity to target political parties that have betrayed public trust.
Anjali Damania, IAC coordinator, said, "The protest will continue with the same vigour as earlier. The only difference is that this time instead of a protest at any ground it will be one where we will tackle politicians on the basis of data and statistics relating to their work."

The plan is to collect and disseminate information on all the candidates contesting the civic polls. Damania continued, "We will prepare Excel sheets, which will have the background, work achievements, money spent and other important details of the candidate that a voter is supposed to or would like to know. This will be made public so the voter can weigh their options before casting the ballot. Only the best candidate should win."

The Excel sheets will also highlight the main points of candidate manifestos.

Carpets lie rolled up on the side of the ground yesterday.
Pics/Vijay Bhate, Shadab Khan

The main source of the information would be the affidavits submitted by candidates to the election officer of the their wards that mention details like criminal record (if any), assets of the candidates etc. The details of incumbent representatives will be secured from ward offices that also have details like the funds spent by corporators -- the purpose, the amount and so on.

With elections about a month away, this seems to be a mammoth task but IAC volunteers said they'd work  round the clock to bring out the real picture so the common man can make an informed decision.

'Count us out'
Anna supporters said they would see to it that only people with a clean image and who have contributed to the society win or are elected to the corporation. But they won't contest the polls. "We will try our best so the best candidate wins. However, from our side, there's no intention of getting into politics," said Damania.

The NGO's members said their long-term plan is to see the elected people perform well, and the non-performers resign. "We will check the performance of every corporator for two-and-a-half years. If they haven't performed satisfactorily, we will send them resignation letters which they will have to sign." 

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