They chose their candidate through public forum

April 8th, 2009 - 6:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) Trying to set an example in how people’s ideal candidate can be chosen, a youth group here has selected its nominee - a former woman army officer - through a public debate on who should be fielded from the New Delhi constituency in the upcoming elections.
Major Sangeeta Tomar, 39, a former army officer will be the candidate of Youth for Equality, an organisation that says it is working on reforms in public sphere and bring a change in political scenario.

The group decided to take the plunge into politics by fielding its own candidate and “setting a precedent”. Tomar was chosen after a hectic selection process.

“We invited people to send their resumes to become a true people’s representative. Our criteria for selection was that the candidate had to be below 40, should be a Delhi resident, should have done some kind of developmental work for the society and have a clean record,” Jiten Jain of the group told IANS.

The group received 223 applications.

“Of the 223, we started selection process by conducting interviews and finally shortlisted three candidates,” Jain said.

Among the three, Tomar was finalised by a panel of judges and people in an open forum Tuesday evening, Jain added.

The selection process saw all the three candidates - the other two being a PhD scholar from Jawaharlal Nehru University and a marketing professional - take part in a open forum discussion and a question-answer session.

“It was an open forum discussion like the US presidential debate on three main issues - corruption, caste based reservation and the right not to vote any candidate.

“The candidates also took questions from the public, after which a panel of judges, which included former director IIT Madras and an ex IIM dean, selected the final candidate,” Jain said.

The group will, however, not field any other candidate from any other constituency.

“This was just a way to set an example to others that without using muscle power and bringing in criminals, you can choose a candidate who is a people’s representative,” Jain said.

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