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Aspirants target co-op societies to create vote banks
CAMIL PARKHE | Saturday, 17 December 2016 AT 10:22 AM IST
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PIMPRI: As civic polls are approaching, poll aspirants are now meeting office-bearers of various co-operative housing societies to volunteer to execute various routine maintenance or other pending works free of cost.

Many co-operative housing societies have already exploited these offers to seek completion of their long-pending and expensive projects.

For the first time, there will be a four-member panel in each civic ward. This has resulted in many aspiring candidates approaching co-operative housing societies with lucrative offers to execute infrastructural schemes to win over the votes of the housing societies. Most of the aspirants follow a common mode of conduct to ensure en block votes of these societies. Initially, they meet a few members of the housing society expressing their desire to meet all members at society’s hall or the terrace.

When the meeting is arranged, the poll aspirants seek to find out what are the works the housing society would like to be completed and then agree to execute some of the projects within a specific budget. The works which are being executed free of cost by the poll aspirants include laying interlocking blocks, cleaning up rubble and other garbage, beautifying premises and benches for senior citizens.

As the schedule for the municipal corporation is likely to be announced soon, the poll aspirants are making frantic efforts to meet a maximum number of housing societies’ representatives. With the introduction of the four-member panel, the areas of each civic ward has increased considerably, forcing poll aspirants to reach out to maximum people to make themselves known.

Lambasting this trend, social activist Manav Kamble said this indicates that democracy has become cheap with even educated citizens forgetting their responsibilities and accepting sops from candidates in exchange for votes. “This entails an admission by people that the poll aspirants would make huge money after their election and therefore, there is nothing wrong in extracting some favours before the polls,” said Kamble.

He said, “Voters should refuse such favours from poll candidates, otherwise they would be deprived of basic facilities which must be provided by the civic bodies.”

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