The Pune Vikas Lokkalyan Samitee (PVLS) is a non-political forum established last week by the elite class in the city to spread awareness on the importance of voting and electing deserving candidates in the upcoming civic polls on February 16.'
A banner put up by the samitee at Tilak Chowk urges people to vote in
the civic election. Pics/Vivek Sabnis and Krunal Gosavi
Around 500 people from different walks of life have come together to take the agenda of the forum forward.
Headed by Dr Sudhir Manndke, the PVLS has doctors, engineers, and former IPS and IAS officers as its members.
Vote one, vote all: Members of Pune Vikas Lokkalyan Samiti
(from left) Balasaheb Ganjeve, Chandrakant Kudal, Sudhir Manndke,
Ramesh Bapat and Sudhakar Joshi;
Former IAS officer Sudhakar Joshi, K K Naidu, veteran engineer S V Kolhatkar, former IAS officer Shrikant Bapat, Arvind Inamdar, Vikram Bokey, college principal Dr Hrishikesh Soman, Dr Gangadhar Anagal, hoarding businessman Balasaheb Ganjeve, Chandrakant Kudal, Rotarian Mohhan Palesha and architects, lawyers and NGO activists have come together to be a part of this forum.
Going all out
Members of PVLS have made a resolution that they will campaign and request the common man to go out and vote. "If the voting rate touches 80 to 85 per cent, deserving candidates will surely win," said Manndke, president, PVLS.
"It is a challenging task but we contact all the people we know and start appealing," said Joshi. "It is mostly the elite class which skips the voting and we need to change this. PVLS has also created 17 sub-committees by seeking help of experts and is also organising workshops for the 152 elected members after the PMC election."
"We have already put up hoardings where we have appealed to people to come out and vote," Ganjeve said. "There are hoardings put up at Tilak Chowk near Sambhaji police chowky. A total of 150 boards will be put up in the city in the next 15 days." Ganjeve said using commercial hoardings for promotional purposes was quite expensive. "But we are getting some sponsors to fund the hoardings," he said.
Bokey, a former IPS officer, said, "Punekars are educated and cultured people but need to be pushed to go out and cast their vote. The elite are the real opinion makers and can influence the society in a positive manner." Industrialists Baba Kalyani (chairman and MD, Bharat Forge) and Abhay Firodia (MD, Force Motors) also made the assurance that they would ensure most employees vote in the PMC and PCMC elections.
PVLS has also contacted State Election Commissioner Neela Satyanarayana and urged her to have an option on the voting machine for negative voting. "If a person does not want to vote for any candidate in a constituency, he can use the negative button," Naidu, a former IAS officer, said. "If the candidate or ward gets 40 per cent 'no' vote, we can expect a re-election for the particular ward or constituency."