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Civic woes top voters' mind

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 - 7:15am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Rising corruption and inflation are not the only issues that tops the list of voters, a large number of electors want their Lok Sabha representatives to talk about issues that affect their daily life: dug-up roads, rotten garbage, water scarcity, lack of toilets, encroachment and illegal construction.

Though none of these issues are under an MP's jurisdiction, a large number of voters will decide the fate of candidates based on these indicators this time.

Mulund and Thane residents who stay close to the dumping ground are accusing MP Sanjay Dina Patil for not taking up the issue.

"He failed to address this issue so our family will not vote for him this time," said a Mulund resident. Voters of Hari Om Nagar in Thane, which is close to this ground, have decided to use NOTA option on April 24 as "politicians have failed to fix the basic problem".

Several residents from Ghatkopar and Sion are unhappy as the widening of the LBS Marg is pending for over a decade now.

On the other hand, many Christians staying in Bandra have decided to vote against sitting Congress MP Priya Dutt fearing to lose their homes amidst the reports of Dutt's involvement in the SRA schemes.

Widening of the colony road is going to affect the Mumbai North constituency candidates as Borivli's Kajupada colony residents have decided to exercise NOTA on April 24.

Politicians say the voters are unable to differentiate between parliamentary, assembly and corporation elections but people's aggression has alerted them. Many of them are now claiming to have spent "most" of their MPLAD funds to construct toilets, paver blocks and colony roads only.

The voters are unimpressed though. The "Meet your candidates" programmes organised across six constituencies in Mumbai were full of heated debates on poor performance of the MPs owing to civic issues."

"Two of the Congress candidates in Mumbai may lose the seat just because the few corporators and MLAs fail to deliver," said a Congress functionary.

Bhaskar Prabhu, an RTI activist, says, "The Indian voters are yet to graduate and understand the democratic system. People want solutions for everything from their elected representatives instead of meeting ward officer or corporator to address the garbage or road issues."

The residents, however, allege that the civic body responds quickly to the big ALMs of south Mumbai and Bandra, Andheri, but doesn't pay heed to the complaints of small societies and bastis.

Feeling the undercurrent, few candidates like BJP's Kirit Somaiya, Samajwadi Party's Farhan Azmi and Aam Admi Party's Medha Patkar have included "real" issues in their bunch of promises.

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