For Mukarram, the advent of new political parties is of little use. His calculations that demand for horse-driven chariots would go up during the poll season went wrong. Barring one person, hardly any politician has chosen to gallop his way into the hearts of his voters on a horse-drawn chariot.

“During last elections (2009), I had made a brisk business especially during the foray of the Praja Rajyam Party (PRP). I was flooded with orders. But, there is hardly any taker for the chariot this time,” he says.

Referring to the last election experience, Mr. Mukarram said chariots and horses were sent to far off places. “In fact, we were hard pressed for time to manage the flooding orders. We could not even give the needed rest to horses. We expected the same to repeat this year. But it appears the contestants are not keen on pomp and gaiety this time, probably due to strict model code of conduct,” he points out.

A few takers

So far, the chariot was used by only one candidate this poll season in Tenali for filing nomination during the civic poll season. He, however, could not recall the name of the candidate. Since then there were no takers.

There are no enquiries for chariots, despite the city teeming with heavy political activity owing to civic polls, ZPTC/MPTC and general elections.

Mr. Mukarram, who resides near Tadepalli in Guntur district, owns three chariots and 13 horses. He migrated from Hyderabad to Tadepalli three years ago in search of greener pastures. A major chunk of my earnings go for fodder and upkeep of horses and chariots. The rent per day is to the tune of Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 25,000, he says.

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