Chengappa has adopted professional campaigners to do the job for him
S.P. Chengappa, the Janata Dal (Secular) candidate from Mangalore South, is aware that he has already conceded advantage to the Congress and the BJP candidates by making a last-minute entry. “But I cannot look back. Within the time that is available, I am trying to reach out to people,” he said.
To make up for the lost time, Mr. Chengappa has hired a private firm for campaigning. Two groups of three people each are walking the busy city streets seeking votes in his favour. He said he has taken the permission of the Returning Officer for employing private campaigners, which has cost him Rs. 30,000 for two days.
Mr. Chengappa, who released his party’s manifesto on Suday, appeared worried that his campaigning was not getting ‘adequate’ attention in the local Kannada dailies. “If you get good coverage that makes a difference. There is no publicity to the corner meetings I have held across the city.” Before proceeding for one such meeting on Sunday evening, Mr. Chengappa took a whirlwind tour of houses in Subashnagar and Shivanagar. “Congress candidate is a retired government servant. It is time for you to give retirement to BJP candidate as well. Give us a chance and see the change,” is Mr. Chengappa’s refrain.
As is the wont, people nod in acknowledgment. But an elderly man chose to confront Mr. Chengappa at Subashnagar. “Oh you are the new entrant … Heard the same statements from others too. You are all the same, can’t expect much.” But, Mr. Chengappa knows a bit or two about how to win people. He touched the elderly man’s feet and sought. “Ajja wish him well and allow him to go,” the pensioner’s grandson said. Mr. Chengappa, then moves to the next house.