Hoping for fifth win, BJP leader wooing voters with theatre and music

April 4th, 2009 - 12:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bangalore, April 4 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary H.N. Ananth Kumar has embarked on a novel method to woo voters. The four-time MP, contesting from Bangalore South constituency for the fifth consecutive time, is holding street plays to the beat of folk music to reach out to the people.
With the election model code of conduct banning candidates from indulging in extravaganza or paraphernalia, the 49-year-old MP is holding a street theatre fest, Ranga Yatre, under the guise of creating social awareness.

Kumar has roped in Mukhyamantri Chandru, a cine-artist and BJP member in the state legislative council, for organising the plays to the beat of folk instruments ‘jaggalige’ and ‘tamate’.

As part of his poll campaign, Kumar has chosen the historic Town Hall in downtown to stage the plays. About 30 artists will perform for over a week to highlight social ills such as corruption and the danger of terrorism and tell the electorate to vote for the BJP.

“Street plays have been a wonderful medium to reach out the people. Through song and dance, I want to appeal to voters of my constituency to re-elect me for the development of south Bangalore,” Kumar said. The plays got under way Thursday.

“The plays are not just to woo voters but to carry messages against ills like corruption and terrorism afflicting the country,” Kumar noted.

Veteran filmmaker T.S. Nagabharana and comedian-turned politician Jaggesh appealed to the people to vote for the BJP.

Artists from the Kannada film and theatre circles present at the event were Tara, Madan Patel and Malathi Sudheer.

Chandru, who is also president of the Kannada Development Authority (KDA), while speaking on the occasion, said: “The Congress has failed to meet the aspirations of the people, especially the ‘aam admi’. The economy is in doldrums. A spate of terror attacks has taken a toll. The country needs a strong party like the BJP. So vote for the BJP.”

The prestigious south Bangalore, home to the educated middle class and techies in thousands, is set for a close contest. Kumar is being challenged by Congress candidate Krishna Byre Gowda, who is also president of the Karnataka Pradesh Youth Congress Committee (KYCC), Janata Dal-Secular nominee and educationist K.E. Radhakrishna and retired army pilot and aviation entrepreneur Captain Gopinath as an Independent.

A member of the KYCC has dubbed the Ranga Yatre as a stunt by the BJP, saying the party has lost touch with voters and was using theatre to gain cheap publicity.

Bangalore South is among the 17 of the state’s 28 constituencies that will go to the polls in the first phase April 23. The remaining 11 will go for voting in the second phase April 30.

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