Netas prefer personal touch over online campaigning

Apr 04, 2014, 03:11 IST | Priyankka Deshpande

Candidates choose padayatras and door-to-door visits as part of their strategy over tech-savvy methods to connect with voters

Using social networking sites as a campaign tool is a new age way to reach out to the voters, but politicians from major political parties in the city — BJP, Congress, MNS, and AAP still prefer to go the conventional way with padayatras and door-to-door meets.

Bonding with them: BJP Lok Sabha candidate Anil Shirole (extreme right) went to Sinhagad Fort on Sunday and interacted with trekkers. Pic/Mohan Patil
Bonding with them: BJP Lok Sabha candidate Anil Shirole (extreme right) went to Sinhagad Fort on Sunday and interacted with trekkers. Pic/Mohan Patil 

It's only a matter of time before the city goes to polls and a huge decision of electing a government lies on the shoulders of 65 lakh Pune voters.

In the meantime, candidates are leaving no stone unturned to convince the public that they are the right person for the job. Earlier this week, mid-day had reported how leaders were catching up with voters during their morning walk (Netas take a power walk to woo voters, March 31).

"One of the reasons why I prefer the traditional way of campaigning over high-tech propaganda is to know and understand the grievances of the people by meeting them personally," said AAP candidate Subhash Ware. He says that the present campaigning in Pune is reminiscent of the old days when campaigns used to have a personal touch.

The customary way of campaigning is not new for Congress' Vishwajeet Kadam. "It's our party's old tradition to be among the voters. It gives me emotional satisfaction and their love and affection gives me strength, which I will never get with high-tech campaigning," said Kadam, the youngest candidate of Pune constituency.

He added that the party is however not against the use of technology in campaigning. BJP's Anil Shirole schedule is slotted to carry out padayatras and visits to voters living in the slum areas.

"The voters should know who their candidates are and meeting them in person gives an opportunity to introduce oneself to the voters," he said. He added that he is not on a visiting spree just because his party announced his candidature and that he has been involved in such work since the PMC elections in 2011.

MNS candidate Deepak Paigude, who is also campaigning the traditional way, was not available for comment. Political pundits are of the opinion that conventional campaigning methods are not the best way to go, considering the close competition between all the four candidates.

"For AAP, the traditional way of campaigning is not new, as they have experimented with it in the Delhi assembly elections. For BJP and Congress, it is a deliberate attempt to gain the trust of the people," said political scholar Dr Prakash Pawar.

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