Of manifestos, star campaigns and more

The General Elections 2014 have begun. In the first phase reports suggest 80 – 85% polling in Tripura and 75% voter turnout in Assam. Voter turnout in phase two, in the other four North Eastern states of Arunachal, Meghalaya, Manipur and Nagaland began on a low note till noon. But picked up by end of day with Nagaland and Manipur recording around 80% and Arunachal a 55%

The national BJP Manifesto and the JD(S) manifesto for Bangalore city were released this week. The CPI (M), Congress and AAP termed aspects of the BJP manifesto as communal and the Congress went a step ahead saying that the BJP manifesto had parts copied from theirs. On six issues like economics, SC, urbanisation, corruption etc, the Congress and BJP manifestos seem to be on the same lines.

A comparison of the promises made by each party in different areas of health, economy, health, foreign policy, women and so on and the existing scenario in the country has been highlighted by this report.

In the city this week has seen the two heavy weights RaGa and Namo turn up to campaign for their respective candidates. Most news reports had more pictures than the content of what the leaders actually spoke. Promises Rahul Gandhi made were that of job creation and making Bangalore a manufacturing hub and seeing more of “made in Bangalore” products in the world.

Narendra Modi’s Bangalore visit seemed more of a campaign for the Bangalore South Constituency as he spoke more about Aadhaar card’s failure.  One point both leaders had in common was having their party stake claim for Bangalore being the IT hub of India.

The backgrounds and profiles of the candidates from Bangalore are varied and each of them having their own campaigning styles. Canvassing and campaigning for candidates seemed to have picked up momentum in the city this week with candidates focussing on sections of its electorate. Spouses and Stars were seen campaigning, Vivek Oberoi and Darshan were seen campaigning for Nandini Alva and PC Mohan respectively.

Some campaigns had its share of drama too, during Rizwan Arshad’s campaign, it was the presence of a rowdy sheeter Brigade Azam along with MLAs and even Home Minister K J George. Arshad denied knowledge of the sheeter’s presence during his campaign although in another report, he shared the dias with the MLAs and even alighted the vehicle for the procession.

Many other campaigns were taking place simultaneously in the city on voter awareness. Hoardings across the city carrying catchy messages sponsored by real estate developers is a part of a campaign by a city based developers. Rangolis patterns in front of homes and streetplays to create awareness on voting were measures taken by SVEEP. 

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Checking out election campaigning at Ulsoor Lake

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About Josephine Joseph 53 Articles
Josephine Joseph researches and writes on urban governance, civic and environmental issues in Bangalore City, from a 'citizen' point of view.