Candidates choose the cool hours as campaign hots up

Candidates choose the cool hours as campaign hots up

Canvassing rescheduled for early or later parts of day; meetings on with critical groups

Candidates choose the cool hours as campaign hots up

This summer, soaring temperature has made poll candidates think twice before stepping out for campaigning in the afternoons. And many contestants across the State have changed their campaign strategies. Some are doing it in shifts. It’s either breakfast meetings or night rounds.

A tour of core Bangalore showed not much heat and dust had been raised by candidates or their followers so far.

Maridevaru, Congress candidate from Ramanagara constituency contesting against JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy, prefers door-to-door campaigns till late night and conducts focus group meetings during morning hours. An associate of Maridevaru said every minute was precious as he (Maridevaru) was contesting against a strong candidate. The scorching sun has become a problem during field visits, he said.

An associate of Dr C N Ashwath Narayan, sitting MLA from Malleswaram who has sought re-election, said his leader would hold breakfast meetings with focus groups in the constituency. Businessmen, religious heads, resident welfare associations and youth groups have been identified for such meetings. Ashwath, who goes for jogging in the morning, shakes hands with walkers and senior citizens as part of his poll campaign, he said.

Tight schedules

Former minister Shobha Karandlaje, contesting from the Rajajinagar constituency on a KJP ticket, makes it a point to finish the morning round of door-to-door campaign by 11 am and sits at her party office to attend work there. She resumes campaign after 4 pm and goes on till 7.30 pm before heading home.

Many candidates in the Old Mysore region, where temperature this summer has been scaling new heights, have resorted to morning and evening shifts of campaigning to avoid the blazing sun. Ravi L D, Congress candidate contesting from Melukote, said his campaigning starts at 6 am. “During afternoon, I sit with my party workers to have strategy meetings,” he said.

Coastal trouble

Extreme weather is not new for candidates in the State’s coastal belt where the temperature normally ranges between 33 degrees and 38 degrees Celsius. But this time around, they are facing an altogether different problem: Shortage of tender coconuts used aplenty to slake the thirst of party workers. “The supply of coconuts from Kerala and Uttara Kannada has come down at a time when the demand is high. The rates have also gone up with the average price scaling to Rs 20 per coconut and a special variety is being charged Rs 25,” said Harsha Bhat, a BJP worker.

Shankarappa Patil, a BJP worker from Raichur, said, “The temperature here has touched 40 degree Celsius, but many candidates do conduct campaign till afternoon. However, the soaring mercury is posing a problem for candidates to hold public meetings. Contestants have to ensure shamiana facility and drinking water,” he said.

Weatherman has bad news

A senior official at the weather department said there was likely to be a status quo in the temperature across the State through April and early parts of May.

Unseasonal showers, which the State witnessed during February, and dry spells following it are the reasons for the unusual rise in mercury levels this summer.
The temperature might come down by a few degrees if the State receives rain in April-end or in the beginning of May, the officer said.

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