Many would like to call it the effect of Anna Hazares movement; a spirited and determined lot with no political background,joining hands and setting up their own platform,the Pune Nagrik Sanghtana (PNS),to contest the civic polls.
The PNS motto is to field honest candidates with a desire to work for the citys development.
We are giving options to people. Now let them elect us, says Vivek Velankar,coordinator of the PNS that has brought 15 NGOs and activists from various fields under the PNS umbrella.
We had a common agenda to usher in a corruption-free Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). We are a non-political party and have candidates from various strata of society, says Anoop Awasthi,PNS spokesperson.
A candidate charter of what they will do in the first 100 days is ready,says Velankar who added that their candidates are committed to convening ward sabha meetings every three months. Several candidates even signed a declaration that the people would have the right to recall them if they did not perform after being elected.
With symbols like candles and coconuts being distributed to PNS candidates,the campaigning was restricted to small rallies and door-to-door visits. Younger candidates,aged below 30,relied on networking and campaigning via social media like twitter and facebook. Personal visits were emphasized and assurances were made to give people educated,clean candidates.
In Pimpri-Chinchwad,the PNS has fielded only 15 candidates. We did not find many candidates who would swear by our norms, said PNS local chief Manav Kamble.