At the residence of film producer and director B. Suresh at Banashankari in Padmanabhanagar Assembly constituency, theatre artistes wait patiently for the arrival of the BJP nominee from Bangalore South, Ananth Kumar.
As expected, the five-time MP arrives in his Innova car on time along with party supporters to the constituency, a BJP stronghold.
Unlike his rival Congress nominee Nandan Nilekani, Mr. Kumar, who is well-versed in Kannada, does not disappoint the artistes. “We will ban dubbing if the party comes to power,” says Mr. Kumar amid thunderous applause.
Mr. Suresh and other artistes say they support Mr. Kumar as he and the former Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashok had supported the cause of television actors, directors and film artistes during the BJP regime.
Sipping tea around 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the BJP MP’s next stop was at the residence of a retired government employee, S. Babu. Mr. Babu’s house was flooded with senior citizens, who were waiting for more than an hour, to hear from the former Union Urban Development Minister. Wasting no time, Mr. Kumar highlighted development works such as drainage, roads, drinking water, metro rail, parks developed by Mr. Ashok, who is representing the Padmanabhanagar constituency in the Assembly.
“Please give me your blessings. I will bring Rs. 10,000 crore to Bangalore’s development if my party comes to power.” Mr. Kumar appealed to the artistes and supporters to bring voters to polling booths without fail on April 17.
As the team entered the house of theatre artiste Master Hirannaiah, Mr. Kumar’s campaign manager Narayan Gambir declares “today is dedicated to celebrities.”
“There’s a crorepati [Nandan Nilekani] contesting against me, I need your blessings,” Mr. Kumar pleads with Master Hirannaiah even as the veteran artiste comments, “Yes…Yes… I will support you,” adding that that he had never seen Mr. Nilekani.
Master Hirannaiah adds, “I am tired of seeing the head-nodding Channapatna doll [Prime Minister Manmohan Singh]. The country is looking for a change, and I hope the BJP will make that possible.”
Mr. Kumar called on actor Devaraj, award winning film director Nagathihalli Chandrashekar and noted tele-serial director T.N. Seetharam, and sought their support to him against Mr. Nilekani. Mr. Devaraj clicked photos with Mr. Kumar and even introduces his actor-son Prajwal to promise them support. Mr. Seetharam says, “I’m not associated with any political party. Mr. Kumar is a friend and I wish him well.”
Mr. Kumar reminds people about his role in bringing the international airport to Bangalore and the proposed Metro Rail connectivity to Banashankari. Around 5 p.m., Mr. Kumar arrives again and marches along with the local leaders and wishes shopkeepers and evening walkers.