The Hindu follows campaign of five-time Councillor Lancelot and debutant Savita
Campaign trail of two candidates by The Hindu presents a study in contrast. While getting personal with the voters appears to the USP of Lancelot Pinto, a five-time Congress councillor in Bajpe, the BJP’s Savita Sandeep, a political novice in the Pachchanady ward, has to depend on others as she tries her luck for the first time.
“There is not much time left. Since I know residents, it will help me finish my campaign rather quickly,” says Mr. Pinto.
On Saturday, Mr. Pinto began the campaign from the Bhajana Mandira near Government Museum at 8 a.m. He led a handful of people who carry the voters’ slip, the voters’ list and the Congress’s pamphlets.
“These people have come voluntarily to support me. They won’t receive any monetary benefit for walking with me,” he says.
As he moves from one house to another, Mr. Pinto hands out pamphlets to which voters’ slips related to the house are attached. “We prepared the slips yesterday. This helps in speeding up the campaign.
We have listed out voters on the basis of house numbers,” he says before entering the house of one D’Costa to hand over the slip and asking him to “bless” the party.
In some houses, Mr. Pinto stops for a while to chat with voters and to locate their serial numbers in the voters’ list that has been revised twice in the last few months.
“As I know the people personally, it helps in locating the names easily.” He writes serial numbers of those people on the back of the voter slips he carries and hands them to the voters.
On the road an elderly person stops Mr. Pinto to question him about the delay in asphalting the 4 Cross. “Jelly (small stones) has come up,” says Mr. Pinto pointing at a heap of stones piled up in a corner.
“The work will start shortly, have patience,” he says and walks past. Soon after he gets a call complaining that the Mescom has removed interlock tiles that had been laid three months ago near KMC Hostel in Bejai. “It is beyond my purview. There is a lack of coordination between the Mangalore City Corporation and the Mescom. But I will take it up. I am campaigning,” he replies as he enters another house.
Young candidate from the BJP camp Savita Sandeep in the Pachchanady ward hopes to storm the bastion of the Congress but has to depend more on others to win.
She is taking on Congress candidate Kavita Sanil, who was a councillor last time from Markarda ward. Ms. Sandeep is bearing with the physical strain of visiting houses in the ward with undulating terrain. “It’s just a month ago I delivered a child. It’s difficult to move around,” Ms. Sandeep says and confides of pain in her legs and back.
“I am depending on my husband and local BJP activists,” she says.
On Saturday evening Ms. Sandeep visited houses in areas such as Bandale and Haalothoota — places down a steep slope.
To reduce strain, Ms. Sandeep and the activists commuted in two cars and a multi-utility vehicle. She is being introduced as the wife of Sandeep, a BJP activist, who runs a Soda factory in Bondel.
Ms. Sandeep did face questions about the lack of development in her ward.
“We have not been elected here. The Congress is to be blamed,” replied a BJP activist accompanying Ms. Sandeep.
The activist hoped to encash on the failure of Congress councillor Bharati Dinesh. “She has failed to work for the area that has not improved in several years,” the activist said.