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Bangalore Apartments Open Gates to Politicos for Campaigning

With elections in the state less than a week away, political parties are going all out to woo voters in posh apartment complexes across the city. Candidates,

Published: 11th April 2014 09:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th April 2014 12:56 PM   |  A+A-

With elections in the state less than a week away, political parties are going all out to woo voters in posh apartment complexes across the city. Candidates, their family members and volunteers are visiting high-rise residential complexes to seek support from residents.

Politicos find apartment complexes a good place to campaign because they get to interact with a large number of voters at one place.

While the residents’ associations of a few apartments are allowing volunteers to enter, a few do not allow them owing to security concerns.P Venkatesh, a resident of ETA The Gardens at Binnypet, said the 990-flat complex is home to 4,000 voters. “Political parties campaign on our premises after obtaining prior permission from our association. We have an open amphitheatre which can accommodate 500 people. We give this space for politicos to campaign,” Venkatesh said.

Venkatesh said Rizwan Arshad (Congress) and V Balakrishnan (AAP) have already campaigned on their premises and P C Mohan (BJP) is likely to interact with them on Sunday.

The adjoining SBI Officers’ Quarters, though smaller in size with just 248 flats, is home to 1,000-odd voters.

Srinivas (name changed), a resident, said: “After taking permission from our association, candidates and volunteers have to complete a few formalities like registering their names, phone numbers and number of people entering the premises to campaign. Volunteers are allowed to indulge in door-to-door campaign and are allowed to stick pamphlets on notice boards.”

Vikram Simha, resident of Sumeru Apartments in Basavangudi, said there are eight flats in their complex. “Ours is a small residential complex with no security guards. Those who come for campaigning can enter our premises. So far, volunteers from the BJP have campaigned here seeking votes for Ananth Kumar,” he said.Chitra Venkatesh, secretary of Kumara Park West Residents’ Welfare Association and a resident of Nishant Residency in Seshadripuram, said: “Candidates usually do not visit apartment complexes as they are time consuming. Only volunteers visit apartments.”

Chitra, who is also part of Namma Bengaluru Foundation, is however going to each flat in her apartment asking the people to vote.Anil Chalageri of the BJP, who is in charge of Bangalore North candidate D V Sadananda Gowda, said their volunteers are visiting apartments where they are allowed to enter. “Where we are not allowed to enter, members of apartment associations collect pamphlets to distribute to their residents,” he said. Anil said Gowda’s wife Datty visited nine apartment complexes to campaign. Mahantesh Arali of the AAP said they have constituted dedicated teams for campaigning in every Assembly segment. “Our teams obtain permission a day before the visit,” he said. He said that team members are working professionals, usually software engineers, who visit these apartments between 8 am and 10 pm.

Why Apartments?

■  Volunteers/candidates can meet more number of voters at one place without travelling much

■  Some of the bigger apartment complex residents are arranging a platform to interact with candidates

■  Campaigning in apartments is expected to be peaceful compared to individual houses



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