A poster in Ranchi on Thursday announcing the open forum on April 12 and 13 at Spring City Mall. (Hardeep Singh)
Mall-goers in Ranchi can do something more than merely watching movies, eating out, hanging around with friends or window-shopping this weekend.
For instance, they can find out how serious their MP hopefuls are about fulfilling their promises in the run-up to Lok Sabha polls.
Spring City Mall, Hinoo, a favourite destination among families and youths looking to unwind with a good movie or food after a gruelling week at work, will bring the public and candidates from Ranchi seat face to face in an open platform, Voters Forum 2014, on April 12 and 13.
For two hours from 4.30pm, people visiting the mall can interact with the candidates, ask about their poll manifestos and how far the promises would be implemented if they are voted to power.
“Any one is free to participate in this open forum whether they intend to vote or not. On an average, the day’s footfall in our mall is around 3,500. The crowd not only watches movies at Fun Cinemas, but also visits the food court and shops. A large number of them are expected to take part in the discourse that will take place at the podium,” said Ritesh Kumar, assistant manager (mall operation) of Spring City Mall.
Asked about the candidates who will be attending the Q&A session, he declined to reveal the names at this stage.
“We cannot disclose the names now, but their presence is guaranteed. Voters can directly asks questions concerning the state’s development and existing lacunae,” he added.
Apart from poll candidates, the session will also see participation from businessmen, intellectuals, academics, members of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce, Ranchi Club and son. Over 50 guests are expected.
“All candidates are trying to woo voters with tall promises, sweet talk and smart languages. But this forum will help voters get a realistic picture. They will be able to judge a candidate, his or her campaign strategy and how far the promises are likely to be implemented,” Kumar said.
Regular visitors to Spring City Mall like Aman Kumar, a second-year student of Doranda College, are looking forward to meeting the aspiring MPs.
“Hum log neta se directly puchenge, agar hum log vote karege to aap humare liye kya kariye ga? (We will ask the political leaders if we vote for you, what will you be doing for us?). We, the youth, are part of the democratic set-up and also the future of our nation. This time we don’t wish to take any chance as far as exercising our franchise is concerned,” Kumar said.