Staff Reporter

NGOs too field candidates in Ambattur

CHENNAI: In Ambattur municipality, scores of independents are fighting the local body elections.

Several non-governmental organisations have also come forward to field candidates in a bid to push for good governance and corruption-free administration.

Three candidates are competing in the election on behalf of the Tamil Nadu Movement Against Bribery's Ambattur branch.

P. Mahalingam, former dean of Tamil Nadu Veterinary College, will be contesting in ward No. 17 that includes areas around Krishnapuram.

He says that he has been familiar with the area and all the problems, which the residents are facing, from the time he was the president of the Krishnapuram Residents' Welfare Association.

Mr. Mahalingam claims that the proximity with the local people is his main strength.

"My organisation has inspired me to contest and help provide a corruption-free administration," he says.

He is not new to the field, as he has already contested in the last election for the post of chairman.

M. Sukumar, a small-scale industrialist, who is contesting in Oragadam, says that he has decided to contest the election to make people aware of the organisation and its struggle against bribery. "I want to solve the residents' problems and encourage them to fight against corruption."

He also wants to give the locals priority in taking up developmental works as the residents may have their say in the projects.

Charulatha Ilayakumar, a homemaker, and a contestant in Bhanu Nagar, is confident about the polls as she has worked along with her husband, an incumbent councillor. "I want to continue the development works that were taken up during my husband's tenure and also bring about more changes in the ward."

V. Jothilakshmi, contesting in Padi, is a member of a federation of 30 self-help groups in the area.

"I have decided to contest in the local body polls for ward administration without depending on others, " she remarks.

She also plans to hold weekly meeting with representatives from every street of her ward and discuss the decisions taken at the council meetings.