Independent Candidates To Contest Feb 2012 Civic Polls

October 11, 2011 8:57 am by

• Independent Spirit. Over 300 citizens groups from across the city have joined forces to launch Mumbai 227, an ambitious new project through which they hope to field independent candidates from each of the 227 electoral wards during the upcoming civic polls in February 2012. The first concentrated effort to remove political groups from the BMC, Mumbai 227 will select candidates through a Voters’ Representative Council (consisting of representatives of citizens groups in every ward) and a centralised panel comprising prominent civic and social activists. [Hindustan Times]

Open Letter. Ten months after they wrote an “open letter to our leaders”, the same group of prominent citizens has written another letter to the government calling for the “need for the urgent passage of a well-crafted Lokpal Bill by Parliament”, and for “urgent action on land, judicial, electoral and police reforms”. In their letter, the group, which includes Wipro’s Azim Premji, HDFC’s Deepak Parekh, and industrialist Anu Aga (who is also a member of the Sonia Gandhi-headed National Advisory Council), says that a “strong nexus exists between certain corporates, politicians, bureaucrats and power brokers”, and that both the “giver as well as the receiver of a bribe” should be punished. [The Times of India]

• Ghazal Great Gone. Jagjit Singh, widely regarded as the most popular ghazal singer in the country, passed away on Monday morning. Singh, who suffered from a brain hemorrhage in September and never regained consciousness, is credited with introducing the music genre to the masses and making it more contemporary by combining classically trained vocals with Western instrumentation. [The Times of India]