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48664Mumbai: Pick Your Six

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  • karmayog - tanya
    Mar 1, 2009
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      Mumbai, choose your leaders
      By: Vinay Somani
      Sunday Mid-day, cover page
      Date: 2009-03-01

      Anyone can stand for elections. A look at our politicians shows that. But
      why shouldn't a city (this one) get the right leaders? All it takes is the
      first step. Starting now

      Former cop Kiran Bedi tops Mumbai's wish-list of leaders. Followed by
      Mumbai's former police chief Julio Ribeiro, architect of Thane's success T
      Chandrashekhar, RTI crusader Shailesh Gandhi, demolition man G R Khairnar,
      actor and activist Shabana Azmi, IT guru Narayan Murthy and former President
      A P J Kalam. These are the people who were given the thumbs up by Mumbaiites
      participating in an online poll.

      MPs Milind Deora and Priya Dutt were re-nominated by participants and got
      enough votes to get into the top 10 (along with the others above).

      The list speaks for itself. Mumbai is looking for strong leaders. Voters saw
      this list of people as being the ones who could deliver a city bruised on
      many fronts by natural calamities and terrorism. Recent leaders clearly
      failed to inspire awe or even hope.

      Some of the people voted for in the list, i.e. Kiran Bedi, Narayan Murthy
      and A P J Kalam are not even Mumbaiites. But an Indian of any address can
      contest the elections from any part of the country. Citizens who will vote
      in the next General Elections know this, and have clearly voted for the
      right leaders over leaders with the right address.

      Tomorrow, the election commission will announce the dates for the next
      General Elections. And political parties will announce candidates for the
      six parliamentary constituencies in Mumbai. If you had to choose your MPs,
      who would you pick and why?

      Send us your list of 6 MPs for Mumbai along with one sentence (only) giving
      the reason for your choice. Send your list as an email to
      smdmail@... or via SMS, VOTE (SPACE) answer, with your name, to

      Please select people who you think would be competent to represent you, have
      a larger perspective of what the city needs, and capable of improving

      Your votes to this poll could influence the right kind of people and
      encourage them to stand in the next elections. Here are the things to keep
      in mind:

      You can select anyone (including yourself) from any field of life e.g.
      social service, academics, sports, business, media, legal, government
      service, etc.

      Pick persons from Mumbai or Maharashtra; while anyone who is a registered
      voter in India can stand for election, it is unlikely that persons from
      outside Mumbai will decide to contest in Mumbai, instead of in their own
      home location

      Pick persons from outside political parties, as political parties have
      in-built mechanisms based on which they nominate persons. Moreover, this
      initiative is aimed at encouraging new people to contest

      A list of the most nominated persons will be published to encourage them to
      take the plunge.
      Become an Informed Voter

      Want to know more about the election process?
      Here's how to get familiar with and start learning about the electoral
      process, how to register as a voter, how to vote, who to vote for, who not
      to vote for, how to stand for elections, etc. Here are some websites that
      help to know about the election process and understand it better:

      1. Election Commission of India: www.eci.gov.in
      This is the official website of the Election Commission of India. It has
      detailed information on how the electoral system functions, FAQs, electoral
      rolls, relevant laws and rules, etc.

      2. Chief Electoral Officer, Maharashtra: www.ceo.maharashtra.gov.in
      This is the website of the Chief Electoral Officer, who conducts all
      elections in Maharashtra. The website has sections on a Voter's Helpline,
      Candidate's Helpline, list of electoral officers, etc.

      3. Association for Democratic Reforms: www.adrindia.org
      Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) is a non-political, non-partisan
      and non-governmental organisation. It was founded professors from IIM-A and
      NID to work towards electoral reforms and political process reforms.

      4. Meet Our MPs and MLAs of India: www.mpmla.in
      This website facilitates communication between people and their respective
      MPs / MLAs. People can put across their grievance/ appreciation to their
      MP/MLA who can then respond and address the issue. You can also comment on
      the performance of your MP or MLA.

      5. Empowering India: www.empoweringindia.org
      Empowering India is an initiative of the Liberty Institute in New Delhi. It
      allows citizens and civil society groups to access data about their elected
      representatives, and state and parliamentary level constituencies. This data
      can be used for making informed choices about which candidate to cast your
      vote for, and also for holding your elected representatives and the
      political parties accountable for the deliverables that they have promised
      in their election manifestos.

      6. VoteIndia: www.voteindia.in
      This is a project launched in the quest for good governance. It aims to
      inculcate the importance of politics and the importance of voting by
      creating awareness about voter registration, rules and regulations for
      elections, etc.

      7. The Informed Mumbai Voter Project: www.mumbaivotes.com
      This website provides comprehensive and reliable information about your
      local political representative. Newspaper articles on every elected
      representative are regularly posted on the website. You can vote about an
      elected representative's current performance, thus creating a comparative
      ranking for all elected representatives.
      The truth about Rule 49 (O)

      Forget that email which you received and what your friends are telling you!
      Here are the facts about Section 49 (O) of Conduct of Election Rules
      What exactly does the rule say?

      49 (O) Elector deciding not to vote.
      If an elector, after his electoral roll number has been duly entered in the
      register of voters in Form-17A and has put his signature or thumb impression
      thereon as required under sub-rule (1) of rule 49L, decided not to record
      his vote, a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry in
      Form 17A by the presiding officer and the signature or thumb impression of
      the elector shall be obtained against such remark.
      (From Conduct of Election Rules (Statutory Rules and Order) 1[Chapter II]
      Voting by Electronic Voting Machine)

      Can using Rule 49 (O) lead to a re-poll?
      The Chief Electoral Officer, Maharashtra, has clarified that "The
      presumption that there shall be a re-poll in case 'none of the above' votes
      are more than the votes cast to a candidate, is totally wrong and
      misleading. Beyond the fact that such a vote can be cast under Rule 49 (O),
      there is no rule of re-poll on the basis of number of votes polled under
      such rule. This is only a rumour going on for some time without anyone
      trying to get it confirmed with any authority."

      Recently, the Election Commission of India in an official statement said
      that "the candidate who polls the highest number of votes would be declared
      the winner even if the ballots cast under the no-voting facility exceeds his
      winning margin. The Commission said Rule 49 (O) of the Conduct of Elections
      allowed the electorate the option to not vote for any candidate. This did
      not mean that an election would be invalidated if the number of such voters
      is more than the candidate's victory margin."

      How to make every vote count?

      Using 49 (O) is not the way to show that your vote counts this is a negative
      vote that shows that you could not decide whom to support from amongst the
      available candidates. There are two simple ways to make your vote count:

      Vote for the most suitable candidate (see 'Become an Informed Voter' to know
      Encourage the candidate of your choice to stand (see 'Mumbai: Pick Your Six
      MPs' to know how)
      Know your Parliamentary Constituency

      There are six Parliamentary constituencies in Mumbai; their boundaries have
      been recently re-drawn as part of the de-limitation exercise so that each
      constituency has the same number of people. (as per the principle of
      proportional representation)

      To find out which Parliamentary constituency you are in, see
      What would make you vote?

      Responses to this question from citizens revealed the following reasons: I
      would vote:

      >>if my vote counts
      >>if I have enough information about confirmation of my name on the voter's
      >>list, the polling booth, the procedure of voting
      >>if it is a convenient and easy process to vote
      >>if I have enough information about the candidate to be able to make an
      >>informed choice
      >>if the person who I vote for is accountable
      >>if the process of voting is a fair and just one
      >>if the person elected intends to and attends to the issues in my area

      www.karmayog.org/vote helps you decide "Why Vote?"

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