BJP's campaign has a personal touch

Having lost twice, Niranjan Kumar is no stranger to voters

BJP's campaign has a personal touch
Many of his followers and the party workers at Terakanambi Hundi village had to literally run to keep pace with C S Niranjan Kumar as he walked briskly as part of the padayatra in bylanes of the village.

The 44-year old BJP candidate in the byelection to the  Gundlupet Assembly constituency appeared to be full of energy. He went round the village, located eight km from Gundlupet, with folded hands, pausing briefly in front of every house. "Akka (sister), vote for the BJP. Bless me and I will solve this problem (drinking water problem)," he told a woman holding an empty water pot in front of her house.

Niranjan Kumar, a BCom graduate, easily connects with the villagers. "Oh, Shivanna!...How is your health now?...the BJP has to win this time. You have to work for me. I will come and meet you after the election," he told a resident of the village. When he came across a priest of the local temple, he touched his feet seeking his blessings. He knows many villagers by their names.

When he came across an old man, he asked whether he is receiving the old-age pension from the government. On the aged person nodding his head, he pointed at the picture of B S Yeddyurappa (state BJP president and former chief minister) on his pamphlet and said: "He is the one who introduced the scheme (old-age pension scheme)...Vote for his party (BJP)."

A staunch follower of Yeddyurappa, Niranjan Kumar had unsuccessfully contested from this constituency twice. He was the KJP candidate in 2013 Assembly polls  and lost to Mahadeva Prasad by a narrow margin. He is a native of Gundlupet and has declared himself as an agriculturist.

"Sympathy factor is working in my favour and not her (Congress candidate Mohan Kumari). People are sympathetic about me as my father and I have lost elections in the past. Moreover, the party president (Yeddyurappa) has been relentlessly working in the constituency. He has visited almost all the villages in the constituency as part of the campaign," he told Deccan Herald.

Even before the party workers could replenish themselves with drinking water, Niranjan Kumar was sitting in his vehicle ready to move to the next village to seek votes.

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