Over the last few days, several members of the Goan civil society have inquired as to what role ADR(Association for Democratic Reforms) would play during the next 5 years.

As popularly known, ADRs primary function is to analyze and disseminate information about all candidates and carry out an extensive campaign to inform citizens about the criminal, financial, and educational background of candidates who contest elections. Thus,voters "know" who they vote for.

ADR, therefore, "aims at cleansing the political system of money, musclepower and strengthen democracy with peoples' active participation."

Now that elections are over and the fate of 251 candidates is sealed in the EVMs, we can shift our focus from 'Election Watch' to 'Constituency Watch'.

Irrespective of which party gets to form the government, it is expected that the new chief minister will provide clean and exemplary governance. As proud Goans, we need to ensure that, during the next 5 years, the three pillars of our democratic society - ruling party, opposition party and politically active citizens - will function in harmony with each other.

Goans should not believe that, now that they have voted, their job is over. Instead, they would do well to make the following suggestions to the new chief minister:

1) Higher levels of transparency in the functioning of the state cabinet

that no tainted MLAs be made ministers (whether we really require to stretch to the permissible limit of 12 ministers should also be dabated. Remember, in 1964, Goa's first-ever state cabinet had only three ministers, including the chief minister, and all were first-timers. That too, they had to cover the Daman Diu region)

2) Leaders of state government bodies shouldn't be tainted either (these positions should preferably be handed over to professionals instead of MLAs)

3) Institute, as a rule, an annual asset declaration of all MLAs in the assembly

institute as a rule an annual asset declaration of all ministers in his cabinet

4) Institute a register of interest in the assembly for MLAs to declare their financial interests

5) Take steps to present proceedings of the assembly online - specifically, their attendance, number of questions asked, etc.

6) Institute an annual online report of the status of works initiated by MLAs in theirconstituency

The opposition party has a huge role to play in the assembly. For an efficient running of a government, as mandated by Goans, we will require a strong and competent opposition in the state assembly. The size doesn't matter, the quality does. Every government requires checks and balances, which can only come from a quality opposition on the assembly floor.

As citizens, we have our task cut out too. In every constituency, we should have a team of 8 to 10 non-biased, non-partisan and non-communal Goans (cutting across party lines). Ideally, this team should be the link between the MLA and his constituency. This team should interact with members of gram panchayats (on the prefixed days) in the constituency, understand their problems and address these problems with the respective MLA. Based on the requirements of the constituency, this team should monitor and guide the MLA to propose legislations, which are in the interest of the constituency and are also Goa-centric.

Let us strive together to free Goa from crime and corruption, and pass on a prosperous, peaceful and ecologically-balanced Goa to the next generation.

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