Skirmishes between supporters of parties at a few places

After more than a month of electioneering, the public campaign by 36 candidates in the city and its surrounding areas, divided among the two Lok Sabha constituencies of Thiruvananthapuram and Attingal, came to a deafening end at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

Peroorkada, the traditional venue for most political parties to wind up their campaigns, witnessed activists vying for decibel points as slogans, thumping music, and drumming filled the air. The candidates, however, were at different points when the ‘final whistle’ was blown at 6 p.m.

While the United Democratic Front’s Shashi Tharoor, touring the coastal region along with Defence Minister A.K. Antony from morning, was at Veli, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s O. Rajagopal, whose campaign on Tuesday had started from Parassala and focussed on parts of the city along with the party’s national leader L.K. Advani before noon, wound up his campaign with a meeting at the Sreekaryam junction.

The Left Democratic Front’s Bennet Abraham, who mostly toured the city and its surrounding areas, wound up his campaign on a different note, as he reached the Vanchiyoor Poor Home around 5.30 p.m. and distributed sweets to the children there.

There were minor skirmishes between supporters of different parties at Kilimanoor, Kadakkavoor, Vellarada, and Pallikkal during the final hours of campaigning. A few persons were injured. The police have registered cases.

The campaign witnessed tough debates over various issues affecting the city, starting from the continuing stalemate over disposal over garbage to issues of neglect by all parties raised by the coastal people, besides other political subjects taken up by campaigners across the State.

From rallies on motorbikes to announcements accompanied by music on open vehicles that criss-crossed the constituency from early Tuesday morning, the decibel levels kept going up and reached a peak at 6 p.m.

Colourful end

Major junctions in all the Assembly constituencies were venues for different versions of the final ‘battle.’ The public, though miffed by the traffic snarls, appeared to share the enthusiasm quietly, with some even relieved that the ear-splitting part of the campaign was over. From Wednesday, till the polling starts on Thursday, silent modes of vote appeals will be on the agenda of the candidates and their supporters.