LS Poll Campaigning Picks Up Pace in Bangalore

LS Poll Campaigning Picks Up Pace in Bangalore

With less than two weeks for the April 17 Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka, candidates are connecting with voters by meeting joggers at parks, travelling in Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses and breaking into impromptu dance performances.

The city has three Lok Sabha constituencies Bangalore North, South and Central- all held by BJP. There are total of 63 candidates in the fray from Bangalore, with 14 from North, 26 from Central and 23 from South.

The city is witnessing three cornered contests between BJP, Congress and JDS, mainly between the first two. AAP has also fielded candidates in all the three constituencies, as it seeks to make an impact on the conscious urban electorate.

Elections for Bangalore's Lok Sabha seats have also attained national significance with high profile candidates in the fray like IT czar Nandan Nilekani, who is taking on BJP's five time MP Ananth Kumar from Bangalore South.

Nilekani's former colleague at Infosys V Balakrishnan is AAP's candidate from Bangalore Central where is pitted against BJP's incumbent P C Mohan and Rizwan Arshad of the Youth Congress.

Bangalore North will see straight battle between former Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda of the BJP and Congress' Narayanaswamy. Abdul Azeem is the JDS candidate.

Plunging into the thick of campaign, politicians are using different styles.

The candidates are meeting joggers at parks in the morning followed by padyatra and road shows. Few of them like Nilekani and Arshad have also resorted to travelling in Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses and mingling with the local public to drum up support.

Nilekani also has a support of a volunteer group called "Together With Nandan", which along with his wife Rohini Nilekani is playing crucial role in his campaign. They were recently joined by two eminent literary personalities and Jnanpith Awardees Girish Karnad and U R Ananthamurthy.

Whereas in the case of Bala, he employs traditional style like door-to-door canvassing, his supporters are also resorting to flash mobs- a group of people who suddenly emerge in a public place and breaks out in dance or engage in some different activity for purposes of entertainment or satire.

AAP is using new generation technologies like live streaming and Google hangout as mode of contact between party leaders, candidates and supporters.

BJP is using digital raths equipped with audio and visual facilities to spread BJP's message and highlight Narendra Modi's achievements to people all across the state.

Congress though seen comparatively slow in adopting new generation technologies during campaign, seemed to be picking up with the trend, with Rizwan Arshad launching his social media campaign 'Friends of Rizwan' recently.

Social media like Twitter, Facebook and blogs are being effectively used by candidates to reach out to their voters.

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