NGO plans to upload videos of 2,000 poll contestants online

Jan 11, 2012, 09:25 IST | Varun Singh, Ravikiran Deshmukh

NGO plans to upload videos of 2,000-odd BMC poll contestants outlining their strategy on its site

The aim is to make the electorate more aware about its representatives., an NGO known for its portal that gives details of elected representatives -- work done by them, attendance in the House, questions asked by them etc -- has this time gone a step ahead.

It has started shooting videos of candidates from all political parties and even independent ones for the upcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls.

In three minutes, the contestant can speak about anything he/she wants to say. It may be regarding the work done, promises, future strategies or anything they feel the voters should know. This clip then goes on the website unedited.

Apart from the video, there would also be details on the candidate, including whatever he/she has done in the past. In short, it would be like a handbook for the voters of Mumbai.

Smart vote: A screen grab of provides detailed
information on the representatives allowing citizens to make an informed

Informed choices
"Our motive is to give the voter a better perspective on what the candidates in their respective wards are all about. When a person votes, he/she just has basic information and the choice becomes difficult. Our motive is to pass on as many details as possible to the electorate, thus making their job easier," said Vivek Gilani, founder of

Just months ago the same NGO was in the news after it came out with a report card on the MPs elected by Mumbaikars.

It had details on their attendance, work done, money spent and the purposes too.

Till now the NGO has nearly 200 videos on its website and it plans to cover nearly 2,000 such contestants.
For the 227 constituencies of BMC, there are more than 2,500 hopefuls.

"It's a difficult job to get all the candidates but we are trying our best. The aspirants get to speak in English, Hindi and Marathi. We are a small team and need more people. Anybody is welcome to come to us and whoever wants to help the citizens know about their candidates can join us," said Gilani.

Right click
Apart from making videos, for the elections, the NGO has also sent a questionnaire to all the corporators and contestants, asking them basic details like their motive, projects they have in mind and their strategy. Even these answers will be uploaded on the portal.

Their work doesn't stop here. After the results are out, the NGO will also track all the elected corporators, to check whether they stick to their promises or not. Every year they will go shoot the corporators on camera and will upload the videos, thus keeping the elected representatives on their toes.

Cong, NCP to fight BMC polls together
Parties iron out differences over seat sharing; NCP will contest 58 seats, while Congress will fight for remaining 169

Keeping the larger picture in mind, the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have reached a seat-sharing agreement for the Mumbai civic polls and will fight the elections jointly.

While Congress will contest 169 seats, NCP will be in contention for the other 58. 

The NCP had originally demanded 65 seats. However, the Congress was willing to part with just 30.

The alliance was announced by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal jointly before media persons yesterday.

The formula was hammered out after prolonged talks and amid dissent from Congress MP Gurudas Kamat.   

The biggest hurdle was removed after NCP agreed to forgo its claim over 65 seats and accepted 58. According to insiders, it was Deputy CM Ajit Pawar's insistence on going for the alliance that paved the way
Elections for the BMC are scheduled for February. The corporation is currently governed by the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance.

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