Mayor switches tongues to seek votes

Mayor switches tongues to seek votes

Mayor and Congress candidate, R Sampath Raj from C V Raman Nagar assembly constituency, seeks votes in Old Baiyappanahalli in Bengaluru. DH PHOTO/Darshan Devaiah B P

If CV Raman Nagar constituency chooses to send him to the state Assembly, R Sampath Raj will become the first Mayor of the city to also be an MLA.

Having clarified that he will continue the duel posts as allowed by the constitution, Raj is hard-selling the uniqueness of his position to the voters.

“I won’t resign as Mayor if I get elected,” Raj had told Deccan Herald. “The Representation of the People Act (1951) says an individual can both be a Mayor and an MLA if Mayoral elections are due in six months.”

Deccan Herald caught up with Raj as he canvassed in Kagadasapura and Old Baiyappanahalli –two of the most backward areas in his constituency— where he told voters he would serve both the constituency and the city at large in his duel position.

Beginning his campaign at 6 am, the Mayor was in various places in Kagadasapura area, where people asked him to save the lakes. “Fix me a deadline. I’ll solve the issue within the deadline,” Raj asked.

Around 10 am, Raj hopped on to the open vehicle and went round Gajendra Nagar, Maruthi Seva Nagar and MS Nagar in the old Baiyappanahalli areas. Most of them here are backward class Tamil speaking population. Raj visited few houses and asked for votes till late afternoon.

Wooing Tamil voters

Raj collected votes in Tamil in Old Baiyappanahalli areas where Tamil speakers live in large numbers. The campaign songs were played in Tamil and even the leaflets distributed to the voters were in Tamil.

But when the campaign entered Kannada areas, Raj deftly switched to the state language and so were the campaign songs and posters.