Slums are where bread of candidates is buttered

Though D-Day that will see voters of the state queuing up at polling booths is less than a week away, campaigning of many city candidates is not yet visible.

Published: 07th May 2018 06:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th May 2018 07:08 AM   |  A+A-

Image for representational purpose only.

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Though D-Day that will see voters of the state queuing up at polling booths is less than a week away, campaigning of many city candidates is not yet visible.A look at the campaigning trends in the city reveals that several constituencies are conspicuous with a small number of loudspeaker-mounted autos making announcement to woo voters. Other indications of weak campaigning in such areas is the absence of pamphlets along with the newspaper, and not having someone frequently knock your door asking for your vote.

According to those associated with candidates contesting these assembly elections, the priority of most contenders is slums and low-profile areas where their voters are higher in numbers. “Contestants, thus, do not consider it worth their while to invest time and resources approaching people who live in posher localities.”

The observation then that voters living in well-to-do areas, especially apartments are having fewer candidates impressing upon them holds enough water. Speaking about this “pattern” to The New Indian Express, a resident of a flat in Ideal Homes Township apartments in Rajarajeshwari Nagar said, “I am a homemaker, so am mostly at home. Till date, not one candidate has come campaigning here.”
Gowthami Bhog, another homemaker from the Yeswanthpur constituency echoed the observation, which she infers as “candidates not being dependent on our votes”. “They would otherwise have approached us,” she said.

A close associate of a candidate contesting a South Bengaluru constituency revealed that elite people did not listen to “any amount of convincing”. “How much ever we tell them of all the work we have done during our previous tenure, or promise to do a lot more should we be voted, they do not agree, as they have made up their minds who to vote,” he said.

Digital campaign is in
Candidates have realised the potential of digital campaigning, which they find “faster and has a wider reach”. “Also, publicity through social media is less noise polluting.”Candidates have their own Facebook page or website, and a dedicated team to maintain them, through which they connect with resident welfare associations. Some use WhatsApp and the bulk messaging system to reach out to their voters.“Well-to-do voters are active on social media, so that is an easier route to reach them. As for low-income groups, door-to-door campaigning works best with them,” says a candidate contesting a seat near Mysuru Road.


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