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Independents form forum in Tiruchi

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APOLITICAL: Independent candidates taking an oath after garlanding the statue of Gandhi in Tiruchi. Photo: R.M. Rajarathinam
APOLITICAL: Independent candidates taking an oath after garlanding the statue of Gandhi in Tiruchi. Photo: R.M. Rajarathinam

S. Ganesan

With an objective of providing transparent local governance

TIRUCHI: A group of Independent candidates contesting from various wards of the Tiruchi Corporation have come together to float an association among themselves with an avowed objective of ushering in corruption-free and transparent local governance.

The Independent Candidates' Association, Tiruchi, plans to take one candidate from each of the 60 wards in the Corporation under its fold. Already Independents from 20 wards have been enlisted and the process of identifying members in other wards is under way. Members should be totally apolitical, well educated and committed to public service.

The association plans to take up a joint and coordinated campaign for its members.

"Our aim is to ensure the victory of Independents in all the wards," asserts R. Subramanian, president of the association.

Political pressure

Most of the members have been subject to political pressure and threats to withdraw from the race, he claims. "But we will stand firm and resist the threats."

Mr. Subramanian, who has been bringing out a multi-lingual neighbourhood journal over the past few years, is contesting from ward 47 and is pitted against the Deputy Mayor, M. Anbazhagan of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. "We could perceive growing public support for our initiative," he says.

The secretary of the association, M. Ravichandran (an independent candidate in ward 52), contested the recent Assembly elections unsuccessfully after being fielded as a consensus candidate by a group of welfare organisations of the city.

The association formally came into being on Monday after its members garlanded Gandhi and Kamaraj statues. They also took an oath to end corruption not only to desist from giving and taking bribes, but also to prevent others from indulging in graft. They also vowed to do away with the levy for drinking water supply.

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