Odisha: High-decibel poll campaign missing as parties take to social media to woo voters

Instead of focusing on high-pitched campaign, candidates in a strategic shift are directly getting in touch with voters through door-to-door visit, padyatras and small group meetings.
Representative Image of Election campaign
Representative Image of Election campaign

ROURKELA: The usual cacophony of high-decibel campaign is missing so far in Sundargarh district which will go to polls on May 20.

Except for certain occasions, the hustings continue to be dull mainly due to the prevailing heat and absence of mega rallies by any prominent national leader in Sundargarh Lok Sabha (LS) constituency and the seven Assembly seats under it.

Instead of focusing on high-pitched campaign, candidates in a strategic shift are directly getting in touch with voters through door-to-door visit, padyatras and small group meetings. Besides, media cells of major parties and tech-savvy followers of candidates are trying to woo voters through social media platforms.

Poll observers said electioneering trend is witnessing a shift from the previous practice of campaign vehicles fitted with high-decibel sound systems to draw the attention of voters. Now, use of campaign vehicles has been limited as parties are preferring to take to the inexpensive social media to address voters incessantly.

Admitting that the campaign trend is going through a shift with effective use of social media and outreach efforts of candidates, Khusboo Yadav, the media coordinator of BJP’s Sundargarh LS nominee Jual Oram, said only seven campaign vehicles have been deployed to cover the vast Lok Sabha constituency. Even BJP’s heavyweight candidate from Rourkela Assembly seat Dilip Ray has engaged only one campaign vehicle. Yadav said the BJP’s electioneering will further pick up pace with rallies by some national leaders across the district.

Sources said Home Minister Amit Shah is likely to address a public meeting at Rourkela on May 15. BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik too is scheduled to address another public meeting at Rourkela. Besides, Railway and Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw is likely to address an election meeting at Bonai where he had served as sub-collector during the mid-1990s. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai is likely to attend an election rally in Sundargarh Assembly constituency.

Meanwhile, senior BJD leader and 5T chairman VK Pandian electrified the poll atmosphere with a mega roadshow from Bisra square at Rourkela on Friday evening. He appealed to people to vote for BJD’s Sundargarh LS candidate Dilip Tirkey and Rourkela nominee Sarada Prasad Nayak.

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