The countrys first citizens consensus candidate,Adolf DSouza,is contesting his second election,after making history in February 2007 when he was elected from Juhu. Much has changed since,with citizens candidates now a fractured group contesting against one another and his own former supporters picking other candidates. Elected from 63 in Juhu,he will now recontest from 60,which include Four Bungalows up to Bhavans College. Still upbeat,DSouza talks about his vision for political involvement among citizens.
When you contested in 2007,a whole army of prominent activists in the city stood firmly behind you. Today,there are least three platforms floating a number of citizens candidates. How sure are you of the success of this movement?
Today,every average Joe is calling himself a citizens candidate. The idea behind a citizens consensus candidate was to elect someone chosen by a considerable number of citizens. I launched the Mumbai 227 platform,but soon left it after realising that they are blindly choosing people without taking the opinion of residents in the area. It now looks more like just catching hold of any willing citizen and fielding him/her under the tag of citizens candidates. Thats an outright lie to begin with. How are these candidates different from independent candidates,many of whom contest elections for money?
Why is your platform,Mumbai NagrikSatta,better than Mumbai 227 or Juhus Mumbai Nagrik Manch? Being from Juhu yourself,how was a separate citizens movement like Hansel DSouzas Mumbai Nagrik Manch floated when he is known to be your close aide in the Juhu Citizens Welfare Group?
Our selection process is transparent since each one of our nine candidates has gone through an exhaustive selection process in the presence of 75 citizens of Juhu,who also had an option of not choosing anyone. Despite serving one whole term,I underwent the selection process myself. Mumbai 227 is giving candidature to former politicians and backdoor entry at the last moment to people with political affiliations. They are simply fielding a random mix of people under the banner of citizens candidates. As far as Hansel goes,we had many differences in the method of selecting candidates and hence we couldnt do this jointly.
Shiv Senas Sanjay Pawar and Congressman Manohar Naik will be pitted against you from ward no 60,in addition to other citizens candidates and a Loksatta Party candidate. Without the same kind of support,are you as confident of winning this time as you were in 2007?
I am in fact much more confident this time because I know the ropes now. Plus,the Anna wave will help me because people want clean candidates. Ward 60 is close to ward 63 and people now know who Adolf DSouza is. And about Loksatta Party,I treat it as any other political party since you cannot be a part of a party and call yourself a citizens candidate. The NagarRaj Bill,which I failed to implement in this term,still remains on my agenda,but I have done good work with Irla pumping station project expedited and the municipal school opposite Iskcon Temple running fairly well with 500 plus students in the English medium.
You gave outside support to the Shiv Sena-BJP during the two mayoral elections. Will you do the same this time?
It will totally depend on the situation and the need of the hour. Sena promised some works to be expedited in return of the support which did happen and benefited the ward. Moreover it was a joint decision of all Area Sabha Representatives of Juhu and not mine alone to support Sena.