In a very unique experiment, the Andheri unit of the BJP, under the leadership of its MLA Ameet Satam, has initiated the ‘Strengthen my hands’ campaign under which it has reached out to citizen groups and advanced locality management groups to choose their candidates for the upcoming BMC Polls 2017. This will create transparency and accountability.
Ameet Satam said, “We want citizens to support our candidates. We want to get citizens involved in the process and ensure BJP wins all seats in Andheri West.”
Citizen groups, for their part, say they are happy to be brought into the fold, saying that independent candidates they had backed since the 2012 civic polls had repeatedly failed, after which they passed a resolution to back Satam for the 2014 assembly elections. Prasad Sukthankar, Cesear Road and Jai Bhavani Mata Road Residents Association, said, “We believe that instead of backing independent candidates, it would be better if we choose ‘conventional’ candidates, provided they are clean. We will back candidates based on performance and track record, regardless of their political affiliation. That way, we can get more work done. We have been told that we can choose from a list of candidates. This is democracy in action.”
Prashant Mavani, Andheri (West) Citizens Forum, said, “We will pass a resolution next month once we finalize the candidates for the polls. This way we can back a candidate and then hold them accountable after they take office. We have been assured that the party will only present clean candidates. We are extremely pleased that we backed Ameet Satam for the 2014 assembly elections.”
Satam said although he was happy to have the input of citizen groups, the candidates would be finalised by the party leadership.