Social issues poll plank for Gujarat Patels

Last Updated 18 October 2010, 17:02 IST

The prospective candidates from all parties competing to represent their segments at the zilla and taluka panchayats, due to be held on Thursday, are not only talking about clean water, electricity and roads -the basic issues that would determine their success – but also speak about things like organ donation.

Campaign messages are punctuated with pleas to the residents to conserve water and electricity, as candidates engaged in one-to-one canvassing.

Conserving the most precious public assets is at the centre of Sureshbhai Patel’s message to his ward residents.

“We have been spreading these messages amongst our community on a regular basis. Elections, of course, are the time when it is easier to reach out to more of them,” Sureshbhai, the candidate from Mandal taluka of Ahmedabad district, said.

Youth awareness

“Speaking about these things, apart from seeking votes, would at least create awareness amongst our youth,” pointed out  Mahendrabhai Patel from the Kunjad area of Ahmedabad. 

“The Patels are addressing issues such as blood donations amongst voters, which are difficult to talk about in rural areas,” he said.

Candidates say that social issues strike a chord with the young voters.
“(The youngsters) are concerned about good roads and electricity. At the same time, they also appreciate that the focus is on conserving water and electricity and not merely generating them,” Sureshbhai said.

Campaign managers of these candidates also feel elections are the right time to speak about issues that are not seen as vital to their success, but are nonetheless important to the society at large. They say that campaigns are the launch pad to pursue the issues beyond elections.

“If our candidates win, we can take up these so-called softer issues like organ or blood donations and involve the public as volunteers,” said Dhaval Patel, who is campaign manager for Mahendrabhai Patel.

(Published 18 October 2010, 17:02 IST)

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