CPI(M) says BJP and Congress are ‘fountainheads of graft’
It took around 20 minutes for the handful of workers of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) — CPI(M) — to fix the snag in the diesel generator powering the sound system and start their campaign. This generator and the speakers were mounted on the front crash-guard of jeep.
This jeep is parked near the bus stop in Jeppu Market, the first of the 10 corner meetings planned for Thursday in the city to campaign for the party’s candidate for Mangalore City South Vasantha Achari — a person seen quite often in protests held on civic, land and social issues.
CPI(M) activists arranged four chairs next to the jeep, just as the party’s district secretary B. Madhava and Mr. Achari arrived in a separate vehicle. The meeting started with the playing of a Tulu song highlighting corruption and maladministration of the Congress and the BJP. Sung by Dinesh Kinnigoli, its tune is based on ‘Chitata Chita Chita…’ from Rowdy Rathore. The leaders took up from where the song ended.
Mr. Madhava asked people to cast their vote with conscience and reject candidates from the BJP and the Congress — “fountainheads of corruption”.
Mr. Madhava then drew people’s attention to Mr. Achari. “He is not a person who became a leader yesterday and contesting today.” As the District Secretary of Centre of India Trade Unions, Mr. Achari had been in agitations for street vendors and against privatisation of water. “He is a person who works for the cause of people,” Mr. Madhava said.
In his address, Mr. Achary called BJP candidate and incumbent N. Yogish Bhat as an innocuous person and criticised him for privatisation of Government Wenlock Hospital and also over the delay in renovation of Lady Goschen Hospital. Congress candidate J.R. Lobo is responsible for bringing self assessment scheme for property tax in Mangalore during his term as Mangalore City Corporation Commissioner, he said. “These are not the parties who are concerned about common man,” he said, and asked voters to give preference for his party.
After his speech, he met autorickshaw drivers at the nearby stand. He met shopkeepers and people in Jeppu Market and also staff in hardware and grocery stores, and restaurants. The campaign jeep by then moved to Morgans Gate – the venue of the next corner meeting. Meetings were also held in Marnamikatta, Bappal, Attavar Babukatte, Valencia, Sotterpet, Goorigudde, Bajal Kallakatte and Pakkaladka.