Karnataka politicians woo voters in parks, places of worship

May 6th, 2008 - 11:24 am ICT by admin  

Bangalore, May 6 (IANS) The changing Bangalore landscape, with single-storey houses making way for high rise apartment blocks, is forcing assembly poll contestants to seek new ways of reaching the voters. Neighbourhood parks have become the first port of call in the morning for the candidates as hundreds of people gather there for a walk. This also helps candidates avoid climbing up several floors to reach the residents.

Next come places of worship, again in the mornings and evenings, generally the time people go there to pray.

Huge shopping malls and departmental stores that have come up in almost every locality in the city are also the places to get to meet a large number of people in one go.

Hawk-eyed election officials keeping track of the number of vehicles each candidate has deployed for campaigning have made it tough to break the regulations.

So now most candidates have sought to turn the strict enforcement of rules to their advantage by going door to door, usually just two days before polling day.

The restriction on the number of vehicles has meant fewer vehicles going round the constituencies with blaring loudspeakers - alternately seeking votes and “entertaining” voters with film music.

State excise officials have their hands full as poll time is also time for free flow of liquor.

Almost every day, for the last one week, they have either unearthed huge quantities of illegally stored liquor or seized it from vehicles transporting liquor without permission.

According to preliminary estimates of excise officials, they have so far seized liquor worth Rs.30 million from different parts of the state.

Millions of rupees worth of sarees meant for distribution among voters have also been seized from various parts of the state by police.

The ban on banners has been been resented not only by political parties but some villagers also, local media reports indicate.

One local English daily quoted a villager in Mysore district complaining. Earlier, the cloth used for banners would come in handy to get a few shorts stitched once the poll was over. Even that benefit has been taken away, the villager rued.

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