Maharashtra Polls: Parties look for new ways to woo voters

Oct 02, 2014, 00:59 IST | Priyankka Deshpande

Alongwith the door-to-door campaign etc, political parties are making use of modern and innovative ways to approach the voters for the assembly elections

With just a few days left for the assembly elections, candidates are sparing no effort to woo the voters. Bringing star campaigners to the city is already on the agenda of almost all the political parties. But alongwith the traditional door-to-door campaign etc, political parties are busy working on modern and innovative ways to approach the voters.

BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan
Helping hand: BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan will hold corner rallies as part of the plan and be in the city till the election day.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has modified traditional campaigning through chaupal sabhas and named them corner rallies, which will be addressed by senior leader and union minister Dharmendra Pradhan. “Under the programme ‘one union minister for one district’, Pradhan will be in the city till the election day. He will go to residential societies and then address voters there,” said the party’s Western Maharashtra spokesperson, Shripad Dhekane.

Congress sitting MLA and candidate from Cantonment, Ramesh Bagawe told mid day that he had modified a vehicle for the campaign. “The vehicle has an LED screen on which the speeches of senior leaders of the party will be shown to the voters of my constituency. Apart from it, we will also show short films on the work that the party has done in last five years in the state,” said Bagawe.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) which was the first to announce its candidates’ list across the state, will create new voters’ slips. “We are working at making voters’ slips which will look just like an ATM card. The names of all the voters in a family will be listed in one card which will be distributed to people while campaigning,” said MNS city chief Bala Shedge.  
He added that party officials were aware that the District Election Department will be distributing voters’ slips and had appealed to voters not to take them from political parties. “But it will not be easy for the election department to provide the voters’ slips to all voters. So we will go ahead with our slips. Moreover, the voters’ slips which we will be distributing, are of plastic and can be used in future,” Shedge said.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) will kick off its campaign with a mammoth political rally at Balewadi on October 4. Along with the campaign on social media, this time, the NCP’s candidates will go to the voters with their new 10-point programme. “Welfare schemes for the disabled, the safety of kids, a gender friendly city and river improvement schemes are some of the points that are included in the 10-point programme,” said NCP city chief and Rajya Sabha MP Vandana Chavan.

However, Shiv Sena city chief and candidate from Kasba assembly segment, Ajay Bhosale said that while they were using social media and apps, they did not have much of an option but to use traditional ways of campaigning, as the party was contesting elections independently for the first time in the last 25 years. “We are using social media and various mobile apps to campaign. But due to the previous alliance with BJP, we never got a chance to connect with the voters of few constituencies, therefore, we are stressing on meeting them,” Bhosale added.

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