Even as they seek a ticket from their respective parties, many aspiring candidates for the forthcoming civic poll have already started their door-to-door campaign and are spending hefty amounts on election preparations and distribution of pamphlets and magazines.
Jumping the gun? A booklet distributed by a poll aspirant
These booklets give an introduction about the candidates and describe the developmental works they have undertaken in the past five years in the wards they wish to contest from. The booklets give the impression that the aspirants are the official candidates of their parties in spite of the fact that the ticket distribution process is yet to kick off.
Political experts say these methods are nothing but pressure tactics employed by the aspirants to show their strength to the senior leaders of their respective parties so that end up getting tickets for the upcoming poll.
Vishal Dhanavade, a Shiv Sena aspiring candidate from Panel Number 48 (Nana Peth) who is into the construction business, is learnt to have spent an amount exceeding Rs 5 lakh on preparations for the civic poll even before getting the ticket.
Dhanavade had tried unsuccessfully for a party ticket in previous civic polls as well, and is now ready to impress his party bosses by reaching out to thousands of people in his panel. "As I am sure I will get the party ticket this time, I have already started distributing a two-page handbill among people which has my introduction and pictures of developmental work initiated in my panel," Dhanavade said.
He has distributed 7,000 copies of this handbill so far. Justifying his move, Dhanavade said that once the code of conduct kicks in he would not get the time to reach out to people. Mahesh Ladkat, a BJP ticket aspirant from Panel Number 52 (Navi Peth), has printed 2,000 copies of a 34-page booklet which contains information on the various social, cultural and educational events he has held in the panel. The booklet also has an introduction about him for the voters.
"Although there are strong chances of getting a ticket from the party, I am not sure about it. As far as the matter of pre-ticket campaigning is concerned, we have to reach out to people well in advance by distributing our work report card, otherwise we may have to face defeat in the election," Ladkat said. This "work report card" prepared by Ladkat also mentions the various posts he has held in the party and requests for a party ticket for him from voters in Panel Number 52.
Shailendra Jadhav, an NCP aspiring candidate from Panel Number 47 (Bhavani Peth), is distributing a handbill to voters in public events he organises in the panel. "As it has not yet been confirmed which willing candidate will get a ticket from the party, I am trying my best by spending money from my own pocket in an effort to get the ticket," Jadhav said. "Till now I have spent nearly Rs 50,000 on self-publicity material."
Political expert Dr Nitin Birmal of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar College in Yerawada said: "The main reason behind spending this kind of money on electoral preparations even before getting the tickets is that once the code of conduct comes into force the election expenditure will come under the scanner. These are basically tactics to display a candidate's popularity among people."