M'luru: Residents campaign, bear candidates' expenses

Residents campaign, bear expenses of candidates in Mangaluru

The village goes to polls in the second phase on December 27

At a time when gram panchayat seats are auctioned, residents of wards have become a model for others by spending money for the election expenses of candidates at Panja village in Sullia taluk.

The residents also campaign for the candidates as they (candidates) are neither backed by political parties nor do they identify themselves with any political party.

The village goes to polls in the second phase on December 27.

The five candidates in the village visit each house in their ward seeking votes along with the citizens of the ward. “Even if they lose, they will work for the development of the village and fulfil the promises made in the manifesto,” Purushotham, who has a guiding force for the candidates to make Mahatma Gandhi’s gram swaraj concept a reality at the ground level. Purushotham was earlier associated with the literacy movement in the district as well. 

Jinnappa Gowda is contesting from the first ward of Aivathoklu, Lakshman Pallodi from the second ward, Venugopal and Vinod from the third ward of Aivathoklu and Appi, hailing from aboriginal tribe community, is contesting from the second ward of Koothkunja. 

All these contestants are associated with the literacy movement and want to bring in changes in the system.

Purushottam said, “The village development should be taken up without any politics. Accordingly, we have fielded five candidates as people’s candidate. Even if they lose, they will continue to serve the people. We are not contesting for only winning the election.”

They have plans to strengthen the gram sabhas and ward sabhas along with working towards the litigation-free village. “We also decided not to field the same candidate after five years. New faces should come and work towards development,” he said.

The manifesto of these candidates gives priority to basic facilities. They also want to set up of a post office, construct a nutritious garden (paushtika vana) and well in every house. Besides, they want to construct toilets in all households.

Candidate Jinnappa Gowda said, “We want to ensure that 100 days of employment is guaranteed under MGNREGS to those who are in need of it. Further, there is a need to work towards cleanliness in the village.

In the panchayat raj system, it is the people who are kings and elected representatives are sevaks.” 

Here, they have a unique Panchatantra system, wherein there are five volunteers at the booth, ward and panchayat levels. Those, who are at the panchayat level, guide others.

Banners and flexes have not been used for campaigning. Instead, the candidates, along with the residents, visit the households, understand the residents’ problem, make a note of it and later they work to solve it with the new gram panchayat - irrespective of their victory or defeat in the election.