The Nationalist Congress Party has never got along with Anna Hazare. The party and its leaders,especially Sharad Pawar,has always drawn criticism from the anti-corruption activist. It may come as a surprise to Anna that the NCP has decided to include his favourite concept of ward sabhas in its election manifesto.
NCP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar today unveiled the party’s manifesto both for PCMC and PMC elections. The one thing common in both the manifestos is holding of ward sabhas. Pawar said after his party comes to power both in PMC and PCMC,he would ensure that corporators hold ward sabhas in their respective wards. This will be every six months. The corporators should take the citizens into confidence. He or she should the citizens permission before planning to implement any project, he said.
Anna has advocating this concept for long. He has had also last year during this Lokpal agitation for brining in such a bill. However,national political parties including the BJP had rejected the idea. BJP L K Advani had also publicily dismissed the concept,calling it unsuitable for our democracy.
However,anti-corruption activists in the city have welcomed the idea. Activist and corporator Maruti Bhapkar,who is the only such elected representative to implement the ward sabha concept in his ward in Mohananagar area of Pimpri-Chinchwad,said the NCPs decision is welcome. I think because a law in this connection is already on the anvil,NCP might have taken the decision. However,it is a welcome development and I am sure other parties will follow soon, he said.
Bhapkar said all through the five years,he has taken decisions on any project only with the consent of the citizens of his ward. Only when the majority of citizens have given their consent,I have gone ahead with the project otherwise not, he said.
Meanwhile,NCP manifesto also announced 24×7 water to residents in Pimpri-Chinchwad. However,residents in PCMC areas have been promised this idea for a good eight years now. It was during the tenure of municipal commissioner Dilip Band the idea was floated,but the promise was never kept.
Municipal commissioner Asheesh Sharma had planned to implement the 24×7 water supply as a pilot project in a single ward. But he had later clarified that they had no such plan anywhere across the township.
For Pune city,however,NCP announced equitable distribution of water. NCP city unit chief Vandana Chavan said their preparations of manifesto was going on for months.
We have done it much before other parties could do it. In fact,the Deputy CM had recently pointed out this our leaders that in Pune we are ready with the manifesto, Chavan said.