Special Correspondent

TIRUCHI: The Independent Candidates Association, an umbrella organisation of Independents contesting the elections for Corporation Council, has got some much-needed support from social activists.

Former civil servant and Trustee of the Catalyst Trust, A.K.Venkatasubramanian, pitched in on Monday by campaigning in support of the members of the association in the city on behalf of the Citizens' Alliance for Local Good Governance. The alliance has been floated by seven service and consumer organisations of the State. Addressing roadside meetings, Mr.Venkatasubramanian urged the voters to keep out politics from local body elections and elect service-minded Independents.

"Let politicians concern themselves with bigger issues. Apolitical candidates could set the agenda for the civic bodies. Local governments are only executive bodies and have no legislative powers. Then why should the elections be held on party basis ?" he wondered. If village panchayat elections could be held on non-party basis, why not extend it to all local bodies? Local bodies should serve as nurseries from where service-minded leaders could emerge. The argument that it was better to vote for the same party/alliance that were in power at the State and Centre was basically flawed as it negated diversity of opinion, which was the essence of democracy.

The issues before the people now are good governance, transparent and corruption-free administration, he argued.