New campaign methods from election candidatesNews — By The Desk on March 30, 2009 at 12:32 PM
Indian Express: Candidates are devising new campaign methods and timing them to match voters’ movements in summer. Almost all of them have taken up campaigning in parks, hills and gardens. The time they choose is early in the morning, when in a bid to beat the summer heat, most people visit such spots.
Sarasbaug, the city’s biggest garden, had become the favourite where a large crowd can be seen in the mornings.
With the mercury rising to 38 DegreeC, citizens prefer to remain indoors in the daytime making it difficult for candidates to reach out to them through roadshows.
Not to be outdone, the candidates are exploring all possible ways to overcome the disadvantage of reaching the voters during daytime.
“The high mercury level has made the campaigning difficult, but there cannot be any excuse with limited time at hand. It has forced me to plan the campaigning in a way so that there is optimum use of time,” BSP candidate D S Kulkarni said.
“I start at 6 in the morning by visiting people in the gardens and parks across the constituency. I have also made it a point to visit as many kattas to join the peoples gathering on Tilak Road, F C Road, J M Road and other parts of the city”.
Since, it is difficult to reach to people thereafter due to heat, Kulkarni opts for meeting prominent personalities and opinion makers during the time before reaching the party office in the evening to discuss on the campaign.
The evening is limited to door-to-door visit now, but soon, public rallies would be organised that will be addressed by BSP leaders from Uttar Pradesh and film personalities, said Kulkarni.
Sitting MP and Congress candidate Suresh Kalmadi, who is also associated with the sports being chairman of Indian Olympics Association, has been visiting the jogging tracks and various parks across the city in the morning hours.
“It is difficult to meet the people in the afternoon hours and the Congress candidate is reaching the public early morning by visiting the various eating joints in parts of the city where the people relax after jogging, walk or workout,” a Kalmadi associate said.
The voters are also surprised to find candidates campaigning on popular hills like the Hanuman Tekadi, Taljai and Parvati.
BJP candidate Anil Shirole, , an avid trekker himself, finds it easier to reach out to the public early in the morning at hills and parks. “He is a trekker himself and has been climbing the city hills frequently. Thus, he starts his day early in the morning and either climbs a hill or visits a park to campaign every day,” Ujjwal Keskar, BJP spokesperson said.
The BJP candidate later marches through the streets till 11 am and uses the afternoon for holding meetings with party workers to plan the campaign strategy. Later, the campaigning starts at 4 pm with public rallies and marches that continue till 10 pm.
City environmentalists have no objection to candidates using the parks and hills for campaigning as long as there is no harm to nature. “It is OK as it is once in a while. But they should respect the place.
The candidates can do something more symbolic to prove they love the environment like launching an education programme for maintaining the environment,” said environmentalist Tasneem Balasinorwal.