With elections in five Indian states days away, a large number of NRIs from Canada have landed in India to garner votes for their favourite political parties.
However, Vancouver-based NRI and chef Siddharth Choudhary is joining the poll fray with the idea of preparing report cards of elected leaders.
"I am on mission report card to India. It is a very small effort and I have created platform to allow people to prepare report cards of elected representatives so that they can be held accountable. It is called Swarnimbharat and it will be run by the World Democracy Index which is a registered non-profit in Canada," said Choudhary, who runs an award-winning restaurant in Vancouver.
"People from Vancouver and Toronto and other Canadian cities have gone to India to support their favourite parties, but I want to support the people in India by creating this platform so that they can subject their elected leaders to scrutiny on an on-going basis. Voters' duty doesn't end with the casting of vote," he said.
Choudhary said his "platform will be like Trip Advisor or Yelp for Indian politics."
"As an NRI, I may be far away from India, but Indian politicians do impacts us also. Indian politicians don't know accountability because people don't ask questions, like we do here in Canada."
"In the upcoming state elections, voters won't know how many promises made during the last election were fulfilled by parties and politicians seeking their votes now," he said.
Choudhary said his Canadian initiative will empower people with a robust database so that they can keep track of political promises.
Considering that there are 543 elected MPs and over 4,000 members of state assemblies in India, he said that with inputs from people, his digital platform would generate thousands of indexed and easily searchable web pages on elected representatives.
"Our objective is to create the most comprehensive data-driven, citizen-powered political report cards on elected leaders in India and thus promote accountability," said Choudhary.