Mercury climbed on a hot Monday on the last day of poll campaign, the political mercury too shot up. And on its part, Lok Satta Party concluded its campaign with a road show that saw its chief Jayaprakash Narayan covering different constituencies across the city.
It was noon and JP along with his small band of supporters gets into the dingy lanes of Yousufnagar. Flower petals are showered intermittently by local supporters while an advance party of youngsters heralds his arrival by blowing whistles (the party symbol), loudly.
Children flock around requesting whistles. A few are handed over and the whistling goes high. “JP…MP..,” one supporter gives the cry and it catches on immediately. Mr.Narayan who represented Kukatpally Assembly constituency last time is now a candidate from Malkajgiri parliamentary constituency.
Stopping at doorsteps and interacting with residents, the former bureaucrat tells a mother, “Please have your child educated properly. Education is very important”.
The campaign takes a breather and a few chairs are spread out below a tree close to the railway tracks. Mr. Narayan speaks with locals and tells them politics is not all about encroaching lands, ‘goondaism’ and such things. “We are not for that. Did any other party candidate spoke to you about education, future of your children and healthcare,” he asks and the crowd responds, “no”.
Katari Srinivas, party candidate from Kukatpally, cautioned that land encroachers were waiting to grab precious lands here. “Win or loss, we will ensure that land grabbers are kept at bay,” he says.
Campaigners also include a group of actors and anchors of Telugu television - Kaushik, Sameera, Anusha, Saichand and Bhargav. Popular anchor-actor, Prabhakar says they have volunteered to support Mr. Narayan as they are impressed with the honest intentions and commitment of Lok Satta.
“Different political parties invited us to campaign and even promised to pay a fee, but for Lok Satta, we have come on our own,” he adds.