It’s the lull before the storm. With public rallies and meetings banned, candidates, whose fates will be decided on Thursday, spent the final day either seeking divine blessings, covering missed spaces and last-minute canvassing.
Congress candidate B. Janardhana Poojary visited a few temples in Bantwal — Venkataramana, Mahalingeshwara and Hanuman temples — and then met party activists involved in the polling work. In between, his confidant Harikrishna Bantwal, said the candidate even managed to find time to attend four marriages and make it back home by 4 p.m.
Meanwhile, the district Congress said nearly 1,800 polling agents were being trained “to ensure ethical voting” in the booths. “Polling agents, who know the locality well, have been asked to be in the booths from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” said spokesperson Kallige Taranath Shetty.
BJP candidate Nalin Kumar Kateel wrapped up canvassing by meeting leaders who had been missed over the past month. BJP media co-ordinator Diwakar Sawani said while a few party workers did door-to-door canvassing — especially areas that had been under-covered — polling agents and workers were trained to ensure their presence in all 1,766 booths across the district.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate K. Yadava Shetty spent the day with party leaders in Moodbidri. “As I had been canvassing across the district, I wasn’t able to meet all leaders in my home town,” he said. Hanif Khan Kodaje, Social Democratic Party of India candidate, also visited the houses of his relatives in Bantwal.
Aam Aadmi Party candidate M.R. Vasudev did not lose out the chance to grab last-minute votes. The candidate estimated that he must have visited 1,000 houses in Mangalore city. “Please give a chance to AAP,” he was heard saying. He was often accosted by those who argued for the BJP, and even counter-canvass with the candidate.
“Give some and take some. BJP will get votes, but AAP will get more,” he said optimistically.