A campaign that was anything but high-voltage

A campaign that was anything but high-voltage

A campaign that was anything but high-voltage

The countdown for electing Bengaluru’s new corporators has begun. The campaigning which went on for a week concludes at 7 am on Thursday. The elections are slated for Saturday.

However, parties stopped conducting roadshows and holding public meetings on Wednesday night itself. From Thursday morning to Friday evening, candidates are allowed to conduct door-to-door campaigning. All modes of campaigning should conclude by Friday evening, as per the direction of the State Election Commission (SEC).

On Wednesday, leaders and candidates of three prominent parties - Congress, BJP and JD(S) - stepped up canvassing through roadshows, bike rallies, roadside meetings and door-to-door visits. However, there was no semblance of an intensive campaign, because of the many dos and don’ts imposed by the SEC.

The City, like in the last general elections, did not see too many hoardings of leaders. It remained devoid of buntings, cutouts and posters of candidates. However, one leader whose hoardings dotted prime areas was Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

The Congress had taken permission from BBMP to put up 200 hoardings. The party also used eight vehicles mounted with LCD screens for campaigning. The candidates have also been allowed by the party to send SMSes to voters to educate them about Siddaramaiah, the key campaigner. Most of his ministerial colleagues too solicited for votes. The tone and tenor of the speeches by the leaders was to criticise the BJP, which held power in the Palike for five years. More than seeking positive votes, the party criticised the BJP for the scams the Palike witnessed.

The BJP desisted from putting up hoardings. Not a single one was displayed as the BBMP Council led by the BJP had passed a resolution that hoardings would be banned. The policy decided not to contradict its own decision. It settled for conventional campaign mode of distributing pamphlets, flags, caps and scarves.

The JD(S) was not much visible across the City as it decided to focus on a few select wards. Its prime campaigner was former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy. The JD(S) too did not put up eye-catching hoardings.

All the three parties, on their websites, have published names of the candidates. The Congress has given the names along with pictures, while the BJP has given phone numbers too. But the Congress has not uploaded the names of all the candidates. The JD(S) has given the contestant names along with phone numbers. However, none of these parties has given the candidates’ minimum details, including education.