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Maha: Civil society groups bring out 'manifesto' of demands

With just a few days left for the Maharashtra Assembly elections, some civil society groups in the state have come out with a "manifesto", drawing the attention of politicians to 100 different demands across 12 domains.

The document titled 'Maharashtra Urban Citizen's Manifesto 2019' seeks creation of inclusive and sustainable urban spaces, finalisation of Maharashtra Housing Policy and guaranteed minimum wages not less than Rs 18,000, among other things.

The manifesto was collectively prepared by 39 NGOs and other groups in the state, including Pani Haq Samiti, Maharasthra Beghar Abhiyan, Centre For Promoting Democracy and Right to Pee. Members of around a dozen of these NGOs on Wednesday held rallies in western suburbs of Mumbai and distributed its copies to voters.

Sitaram Shelar, convener of Pani Haq Samiti, said the document runs into 16 pages.

"After preparing the manifesto, we met heads of all the parties last week and requested them to incorporate our demands in their poll manifestos. Few parties found our document worthy and borrowed some of our points. We are now hitting the streets to sensitise the voters," he said.

"We are not campaigning for any particular party or candidate, but only appealing the voters to exercise their franchise judiciously. Our manifesto includes issues related to 12 different domains, including land and housing, urban governance, transgender community, homeless people, environment and ecology, transport and mobility," he said.

The document also lists some other demands, including a detailed report on human settlements in Maharashtra to assess the number of vacant houses, effective implementation of the Maharashtra Youth Policy.

Voting for the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly will be held on 21 October. The election results will be declared on October 24.