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Praja Foundation survey says corruption has come down in Mumbai from 2014

The public perception of corruption among MLAs and in governance in Mumbai has reduced since 2014, says a survey released by the Praja Foundation on Monday. It also presented a report card of the city MLAs, showing that the overall performance of the people’s representatives has improved from when it started ranking them five years ago. MLAs from the Congress emerged among the best. The Shiv Sena had a mixed bag, ranked second best overall but also having two of the worst-performing MLAs in their ranks.

In 2014 — the last year of the former Congress-NCP government — 57% of citizens felt that MLAs and the government in Mumbai were very corrupt or extremely corrupt. By 2016 — two years into the rule of the BJP-Shiv Sena coalition — 36% of the citizens felt this way, the Praja report card said. As the perception of corruption reduced, the feeling of improved quality of life rose from 60% to 70% during the same period.

A survey of 25,215 people conducted by Hansa Research brought out the public perception of corruption, as well as availability of the MLAs. The perceived accessibility of MLAs fell from 66% in 2011 to 42.9% in 2016, the Praja report said.

Overall, the performance of Mumbai MLAs had improved compared to 2011. “The first report card of the 12th assembly showed an average score of 61.23%. The average score in 2016 is 65.11%,” the report card said.

“The improved scores are a reflection of the optimism within the electorate. We can only hope the scores remain high till the end of their terms,” said Praja founder Nitai Mehta.

The MLAs from the Congress scored 76.8% — the highest — followed by the Shiv Sena with 63.3% and the Samajwadi Party with 63%. The BJP scored 62.9%. The report card rated 12 BJP MLAs, 12 from the Shiv Sena, five from the Congress and one each from AIMIM and the Samajwadi Party.

The Praja Foundation has been rating elected representatives in the city for the last five years. For this report, it rated 31 of Mumbai’s 36 MLAs. The report card excludes four MLAs who are ministers in the cabinet, including education minister Vinod Tawde, minister of state for women and child development Vidya Thakur, housing minister Prakash Mehta and minister of state for housing Ravindra Waikar of the Sena. It also excludes the Sena’s Trupti Sawant, who was elected in April 2015.

The report card was based on a host of parameters including attendance, questions asked, usage of the area development fund and a clean record.

The top performer among Mumbai’s MLAs is Congress’ Amin Patel, who represents Mumbadevi. He is followed by Shiv Sena’s Sunil Prabhu from Dindoshi. Both scored over 80%, a first in the report card. The Congress’ Varsha Gaekwad, who represents Dharavi, was ranked third.

“All the credit for this goes to my voters. They have allowed me to work for them,” said Amin Patel.

The report rated the BJP’s Ram Kadam, who represents Ghatkopar (West), as the worst performer. He is followed by Sena’s Mangesh Kudalkar of Kurla and the Sena’s Ramesh Latke, who represents Andheri East. Kadam dissed the report. “Praja has no right to decide which MLA is good or bad. Only the electorate can decide that in a democracy. In the last report too they rated me poorly. But I won the election. Others who they rated well ended up losing. How do they explain that,” he said.
“I totally reject this ranking. On what basis have they compiled this? They should come and see my performance and speeches in the assembly,” said Latke.

The number of questions asked by the MLAs has reduced but their quality has improved, the report card said. “The quality of questions asked by MLAs has gone up from 49.6% in 2011 to 57.9% in 2016. But the total number of questions has falled from 7,946 to 4,343 ,” it added.


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