Monday, February 27, 2017

Shat Pratishat Power Done, Shat Pratishat City When?

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power”... Abraham Lincoln.

Some names doesn’t need any introduction, former USA President Mr. Lincoln is one such & indeed was a person who lived by his above quote. While the result of Pune & Pimpri Chinchwad Corporation’s elections i.e. PMC/ PCMC started filtering in, many faces got darkened & many got brightened with this unexpected power shift! With due respect I am saying unexpected as no one has predicted such victory of BJP, I am restricting myself to PMC & PCMC of course! And no winning candidate has the grace to accept that they haven’t expected this kind of victory as well no losing candidate will gracefully accept their defeat! Instead a cry on social media is this victory of BJP is due to malfunctioning of the electronic voting machines i.e. EVM’s!Let me clear in first place I am non supporter of any political part & this sharing is plain analysis of the election which will be deciding fate of Pune & PCMC, still when it comes to making claims then this recent cry over EVMs’ by opposition is perfect display of their mentality & that is main cause of their defeat in first place! As if such was the case then same machines were in last elections too & the then ruling govt in State has won with thumping majority in PCMC as well the alliance has won in PMC, so why this objection wasn’t raised then, is the question the common voter will ask. And then in a way doubting on EVM’s means doubting judgment of common man which he has clearly put in favor of BJP or whatever party he has wanted in power!

So let’s put aside the EVMs’ as that’s something Election Commission is capable enough to deal with, let’s see what now lays ahead for Pune. Here when I mention Pune, it’s in a way jointly both the corporations i.e. PMC & PCMC as in both one single party has come to ruling & the very same party has Govt in Central as well the key portfolios related to the city development are also with the same political party in State, so in a way citizens has wisely played their card after a long time. Since last many years may it be State or local level, we have seen what happens when no single party is in ruling as it’s always easy to pass the buck especially when things are not happening as they have been promised. And worst was all the time every single party is busy in putting their party’s interest ahead of city's; result is any policy decision was analyzed on this basis only how & whether it will benefit the party & not the city. And as per that alliances used to break & made newly which is defeat of the citizens who has voted the elected members as per the so called “ashwasan nama” i.e. agenda of their party. Nobody bothers asking for such document after winning the election is what we all have witnessed as if you read the election vision doccument of any party, especially the earlier ruling party’s, as they were supposed to execute it; then its same one. Right from strengthening public transport to riverfront development to garbage-less wards, so many issues are same & no mention why it’s not done in last five years or what efforts have been taken on these issues. Take example of riverfront development, in first place when most of the riverfront is under ownership of private people then how we are going to acquire it, this itself no one bothers! And on top of it we declared in new DP the riverside area as zone so ownership remains with the concerned land owners, why we didn’t made it reservation by virtue of which PMC could have acquired the said riverfront & develope as per their so called vision document? Same is with public transport, right from making proper bust stops to giving space to park the busses which or else keeps standing on road at nights, nothing concrete has been done on this front yet each party came with same promise of better public transport, how, is the question we should ask later but why not till now, is the question we should ask now! And it’s not about attitude of just ruling parties but those who were opposite party then & today has come in ruling what was their stand on all these issues of the city that also must be remembered.

On this background the election outcome has two major plus points showing how we have grownup as mature citizens when it comes to choosing our rulers. First all caste & religion equations have proved wrong as on the background of Marathas & OBC marches it was a general thought that those castes will vote for a particularly party or candidate. Similarly the venom of caste system which has reached to new high by damaging the statue of a great writer, has not affected the wise voters. Rather by the voting pattern, it’s shown clearly to such tendencies that we care for only one thing & it is development of this city & nothing else matters here! And second is common man can differentiate between National & Local issues, as demonetization weren’t a negative factor for casting vote to the very same party of which govt in central has taken that decision! Message is very clear, we are one society which is free from shackles like caste & on a city platform there is only one caste or religion that is citizen of Pune city. Here PCMC clearly took lead over so called big sister PMC by voting percentage reaching to highest in State & this surely a matter of concern for Pune citizens. While remote Zillah Parishads in rural have voted with 70%, we have just reached 55% that means nearly 50% of the citizens care a hang about who rules them! Somewhere PMC needs to take more effective efforts to make its citizen understand their own importance towards the city development.

Now hereafter with all three govt’s under one party the responsibility of we the voters has increased more as we have put all our eggs in one basket & we can’t blame just the basket to take care of the eggs. A responsible voter is the one which keeps follow-up of his vote & sees it doesn’t goes in drain. Now, many people will ask what they can do about it. Well, I can understand meeting MLA or MP isn’t easy but your local corporator sure is accessible & see that you form a group of citizens & make him or her answerable on periodical basis about the promises which has made you vote in favor of your elected member. First of all see that your corporator makes a proper list of his promises & updates you periodically about the same. At the same time you don’t forget you are part of the agenda as garbage less ward means you are also supposed to participate in it or else you will keep throwing garbage on roads & will expect your corporator to make the ward garbage free, it won’t work! Keep track of issues related to your wards right from garbage to many petty works like storm water drains & foot path conditions. Ask your corporator to be accessible via email or whatapp groups where all such issues can be documented. Remember by voting once your responsibility doesn’t ends rather it starts from there!

The challenges in-front of the new rulers are many as this once beautiful city is like sitting on tip of multi mouthed volcano named urban disaster where a city dies under the pressure of its own needs for survival. Right from millions of vehicles causing air pollution which is outcome of worst public transport to loss of tree cover to slum to illegal constructions to water supply to garbage to affordable home to public health to education; the volcano has so many mouths, which any time can erupt now. One more thing now with people has put their faith in one party, at least now the city can hope for Flex or Hoarding free sky line that much assurance the city expects from the rulers! From here we can be either very best or extreme worst, such is the scene & time is running out fast. The first thing we need to work out is overcome the curse in delaying the projects & reasons may be many, right from poor planning to lack of funding. The missing link in the civic body is coordination between administration & elected members & high time for party bosses to make a special task force for this delicate task at elected candidates’ level. As whichever party comes in ruling it’s the administration which is going to execute the development works & ruling party is the driving force to make them their job! Another important aspect is opposition party, as till now the joke was even the party in alliance of power also used to enjoy status of opposition party & possess posts like opposition party leader!  Even now nearly 50% of voters have voted parties other than ruling party, so the opposition party’s elected member has more responsibility to oppose wrong doings of ruling party. And their responsibility has increased as the ruling party is in absolute majority; though some typical Punekar may ask, when the present opposition party candidates didn’t thought about the interests of city when they were in ruling, how it can be expected now when they are in opposition! Well, let me tell to the opposition party members who have got elected, the only way to get back in power is to do justice to their present job & fight for the city’s interests!!

Hereafter for the city development, not just the elected corporators but equally responsible will be all the MLA’s, MP, State as well Central Ministers & the CM himself, who has assured express track for deciding policies & its implementations.For the years this city has been shown many dreams of which very few has been came in existence & that percentage is so low that the common citizen is afraid of even sleeping, leave apart dreaming! Here I will share my personal experience at home regarding post election scene in minds of common man; my mother goes to senior citizen club at nearby PMC garden in Patwardhan baug area, Erandwana. After election results, I asked her next morning has any of the candidate came to meet them post election outcome? On hearing my question her casual reply was, “why now any candidate will come to meet us?” She was neither irritated nor astonished; it was plain simple reaction telling us what people feel post election!  By voting to BJP, once again citizens of Pune have put their faith in dreams & supported to what BJP wanted i.e. “Shat Pratishat BJP” (from Central to Local Body, one their party’s govt). Now before the gulal clad streets gets cleaned from processions of the victory & the dhol tashsa sounds gets fade of from the ears of citizens, the rulers must put aside every reason & make their agenda as  “Shat Pratishat Pune” i.e. 100% dedication for Pune city’s well bringing only. As Mr. Lincoln has said, this city has given power to rule its fate to one sixty six persons now it’s time for every elected candidate to show his or her character or else in next PMC/PCMC election the only button which will get pushed is of “NOTA”! 

Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.

Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.

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