It's civilians v/s netas in upcoming civic elections

Professionals from SoBo, known for their apolitical leaning, are quitting their regular jobs to vie in BMC polls next year; claim citizens are fed up of 'regular politicians'

Civil society, the term recently etched out in the political consciousness of the nation, is set to make its presence felt beyond sloganeering and protests.

With professionals from the posh Kemp's Corner area leaving their occupation to battle it out in the political arena of the city, the 2012 BMC elections are set to witness an unusual contest.

Builder Rajesh Jugani of Jugani Constructions and 
Lalit Jain, a trader, will contest the civic polls

If you ask Rajesh Jugani, the 44-year-old builder of Jugani Constructions from D ward, who has decided to quit business and fight the civic election, he will tell you that a desire for change drove him to take the leap.

A well-travelled person, Jugani will be representing the Loksatta Party, founded by Hyderabad-based Dr JP Narayan.

"I have gone to many countries and found good infrastructure and government institutes. So people do not have much to complain about. But over here, though people are good, we need leaders who work towards growth. That's the reason I have got into politics," said Jugani.

Jugani will contest from ward number 213 of the D ward. His party is fielding four candidates in all from the same ward, which also houses the chief minister, home minister, top businessmen like the Godrej family and others.

One such candidate is Lalit Jain, a trader by profession, who hinted that activist Anna Hazare's agitation would help him and his friends win. "The common man is fed up of regular politicians, and this is the right time for people like me who want to do something for the country," he said.

Surendra Srivastava, the Maharashtra coordinator for Loksatta Party, claims the party follows a stringent line when it comes to picking candidates.

Only if the person has a clean track record are they allowed to contest the polls. "Anybody is welcomed in the party, but they have to have the desire to serve the common man, and they need to fulfill the basic criterion of no criminal record," he said.

Like Loksatta Party, Adolf D'souza, the first citizen corporator, has taken the charge of getting civilians like him elected in the elections. "We have already gathered 25 independent candidates.

Also, there would be many places where people themselves don't want to contest but would prefer a citizen candidate. We are even welcoming such nominees," said D'souza. His website,, details how people can come forward on their own to unite and contest elections.

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