It’s been a month since the Election Commission notified the Parliamentary elections and more than 10 days since major candidates filed their nomination papers.
Yet, most of the residents of Bangalore Central Lok Sabha constituency claim that they are yet to witness the din that is normally associated with polls.
Candidates in a few areas are, however, campaigning door-to-door, road shows and park visits to meet morning walkers here.
Apart from such areas, several residents are yet to see candidates in person. Yet, politics and elections seem to be the focus of most of the group discussions in the constituency and most of the people seem to have decided to cast their vote for a particular party.
Though the three novices to electoral politics — Rizwan Arshad of the Congress, V Balakrishnan of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Nandini Alva of JD(S) — P C Mohan, a seasoned campaigner and the sitting MP from the BJP are busy telling why people should vote for them, voters seem to be more interested in the parties they represent. National issues seem to precede local issues.
While BJP supporters talk about the Gujarat model of development and the misrule of the UPA in the last ten years, Congress supporters speak about the communal politics of BJP, the 2002 Godhra riots and the achievements of the UPA government. Those who are against corruption seem to be batting for Aam Aadmi Party.
Sarojamma, a senior citizen from Rajajinagar Assembly segment, told Express that she wants a corruption-free society.
She said: “We want corruption to be rooted out from this country and make it a better place to live in. Every month one or the other scam gets exposed and people of all parties are involved in them. I think we will vote for a change and AAP promises that.”
Her friend Padmamma said: “They did not do anything in Delhi. They make headlines with their tall claims and antics. But I do not think they know how to achieve their goals. They are harping on Jan Lokpal. There are enough laws to check corruption. I prefer stability and development and will vote for the BJP which is capable of delivering that.”
Two other elderly women from that group said they would vote for the Congress. They are happy with the governance provided by the present Congress government in the state, they added. Political parties seem to have an edge in the Assembly segments represented by them.
Of the eight Assembly segments in the constituency, Sarvajnanagar, Shivajinagar, Gandhinagar and Shantinagar are represented by the Congress and three of them — K J George, R Roshan Baig and Dinesh Gundu Rao — are Ministers in the present state government.
Rajajinagar, Mahadevpura and C V Ramannagar are represented by the BJP, Chamrajpet is represented by the JD (S).
AAP has made significant inroads into the constituency and only the election results will reveal the extent of damage that has happened to different parties due to it.
Mohan Campaigns at High Court
BJP’s P C Mohan started his day early by visiting the parks near Basavangudi to solicit votes which was followed by a door-to-door campaign at Jakkarayankere in Gandhinagar. As many as 300 supporters accompanied him.
He visited the High Court along with former law minister Suresh Kumar to solicit votes by highlighting his contribution from the MP funds for upgrading the library in the court and construction of a toilet. In the evening he campaigned at most of the lanes at Kamakshipalya.
Cong Leaders for Rizwan Arshad
Congress’ Rizwan Arshad managed to rope in party leaders like S M Krishna, G Parameshwara, Roshan Baig and Dinesh Gundu Rao for his roadshow in Sampangiramnagar, Shivajinagar and surrounding areas.
The roadshow that started after a pooja at Lord Venkateshwara Temple at Sampangiramanagar culminated at the District Congress Committee office in Shivajinagar. Hundreds of party workers participated.
While some of them danced, others distributed pamphlets and shouted slogans for their party and its leaders.
Scorching Heat Fails to Deter Bala
Having renounced the cosy comforts of his high paying job V Balakrishnan of AAP braved the hot sun to conduct a roadshow at Banaswadi, Cooke Town, Lingarajpuram and surrounding areas. Balakrishnan was accompanied by a few professionals who had either taken a break or quit their jobs to work for the party.
Most AAP workers were sporting the party cap, T shirt and waving brooms, the party symbol. Balakrishnan’s followers requested people to vote for their party. Some visited houses to highlight their cause to voters. Even kids requested voters to support the party. Seventy people accompanied Balakrishnan in the roadshow that started early in the morning and ended by evening.