Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014

Rush before the hush hour

Deora at a road show at Nagpada Tuesday. Ganesh Shirsekar Deora at a road show at Nagpada Tuesday. (IE Photo: Ganesh Shirsekar)
Mumbai | Posted: April 23, 2014 1:10 am

With campaigning for the last phase of polling in Maharashtra drawing to a close Tuesday evening, some candidates in Mumbai’s six Lok Sabha constituencies chose to limit their interactions to personal meetings with select groups and loyal voter bases, while others campaigned aggressively with car and bike rallies in a bid to reach out to maximum number of voters in their constituencies. Newsline takes a look at the different campaigning styles adopted by candidates on the last day.

Milind Deora Congress candidate for Mumbai South

Deora followed the usual mode of a rally, with his open van giving him a tour of different areas. The last day saw him on roads at 8 am in the Machimar colony of Colaba instead of the usual 10 am schedule. Unlike other candidates who preferred to cover a large area in the constituency to reach out to maximum voters, Deora’s campaigning was focused on just three areas – Colaba, Byculla and Mumbadevi – all three traditional Congress pockets. In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, Deora had garnered maximum votes from these areas, with a huge margin against all contesting candidates. He had received 54,186 votes in Mumbadevi , 50,177 votes in Byculla and 48,167 in Colaba, respectively. Despite having a majority of Congress rallies in Mumbadevi, Deora yet again made a last attempt to woo loyal voters by revisiting the same pockets for nearly five hours (12 noon till 5 pm). Deora’s rally drew an overwhelming response, with supporters surrounding his vehicle the whole day. They were seen either wearing scarves or sporting caps with the Congress symbol on them. The rally proceeded at a snail’s pace with Deora stopping every now and then to accept garlands while residents showered rose petals from their balconies.

— Tabassum Barnagarwala

Gurudas Kamat Congress candidate for Mumbai North West

The sitting MP from Mumbai North West roped in NCP chief Sharad Pawar for his last public appearance, an open meeting held at a ground in BEST Colony in Goregaon West on Tuesday afternoon. Kamat is seeking a sixth Lok Sabha term. Early in the day, he held smaller meetings in his constituency before arriving in Goregaon at 3 pm. Pawar arrived an hour later and asked the crowd to vote for development. “The BMC had done nothing for you. Whenever you think of good roads, and a rail network in Mumbai, only Gurudas Kamat’s name comes to mind,” Pawar said.  Kamat’s aide Sameer Desai said the plan had been to end with a bang. “We have the upper hand because a leader of the stature of Sharad Pawar came for the final rally. He had given his consent five days ago and since then, we had finalised two venues,” he said.  After Azad Maidan in Goregaon was found to have been booked, the Congress went ahead at BEST Colony.  continued…

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