Updated: November 30, 2021 10:09:26 am
Announcements have been made and their work has begun. The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation elections are round the corner, and as the veteran parties – BJP, Congress, SAD-BSP and AAP – slip into people pleasing and vote garnering mode, a new front -Chandigarh Environmental Group – is entering the political arena.
Their agenda – cleaning up the city physically and metaphorically.
“We are done with just communicating over Whatsapp, airing grievances, lamenting on the current state of affairs, and sharing our vision for the city. It was time to jump in if we actually had to make any change,” says the founder of Chandigarh Environmental Group, Rahul Mahajan. Mahajan has been instrumental in forging the party, and is working at breakneck speed to bring his tally of members up to 35 (including 12 women) to contest from all the 35 wards of the city. The party’s first list is out, and one of the candidates is a visually impaired social worker, Lata Dhiyat.
The Chandigarh civic body goes to polls on December 24 and nominations can be filed till December 4.
Even as the news of formation and Chandigarh Environmental Group’s foray into politics has been doing the rounds, Mahajan and his team have been busy working on keeping Chandigarh green and have vowed to re-establish a ‘clean environment’ in Chandigarh.
“The environment is not limited only to Chandigarh’s green cover. It extends to all areas – corruption, education, awareness, civic responsibilities. Our aim is to mobilise the locals, weed out corruption, and clean up the overall environment of the Chandigarh,” said Mahajan.
Advocate Shekhar Moudgil, who will be contesting from Ward 34, agrees. “Chandigarh was the epitome of beauty. Today, the corruption in the civic body is rampant, there are garbage dumps everywhere. The original architecture of the city is in a bad shape,” says Moudgil.
Retired Army official, Yash Pal Yadav, who has filed his papers from Ward 37, throws light on the deteriorating condition of colonies. “Being a first time independent party, people might not take us seriously at first. But instead of just sitting around and watching
Chandigarh slip, we have decided to do something about it,” says Yadav.
Perhaps the most interesting candidate is the spirited Lata Dhiyat, a visually impaired social worker who works with the younger kids at the Institute of Blind, Chandigarh. Contesting from Ward 6, Manimajra, Lata’s aim is to help the needy and empower girls. “Being challenged in any way or being a girl should not be seen as a challenge. My work has always been to uplift people and push girl child education,” says Lata, an MA BEd herself.
The party’s mission is clear – to make people aware about environmental issues, save the heritage of Chandigarh and emphasise on education. “We will be canvassing on foot, on cycle, giving flower saplings, and go door to door to spread awareness. We may not win this year, but we have another five years to strengthen our hold. We will provide a dedicated Opposition which this city needs,” adds Mahajan,who said he was on the lookout for more candidates, especially women. People who are into social work, are environmentalists, independent and believe in a better Chandigarh are welcome to join the party, Mahajan added.
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