At 9 a.m., the temperature is already high, making one sweat profusely. As the convoy of B. Sriramulu, star campaigner and BJP’s candidate in the Lok Sabha elections from Bellary Parliamentary Constituency (Reserved), comes to a halt at Sovenahalli village in Hadagali Assembly segment, a group of his supporters, taking shelter under a tree and a shade nearby, comes to greet him, raising slogans in his favour and also the BJP.
After pleasantries are exchanged and Mr. Sriramulu is garlanded, the convoy is taken out in a mini-procession, accompanied by the beatings of traditional drums and bursting of crackers.
Unmindful of the prickly heat and the dust raised by the movement of several vehicles, Mr. Sriramulu heads towards a temple, all the while greeting almost all elders who have gathered there. He bows before them to seek their blessings. Mr. Sriramulu and the others, after puja at the main temple in the village, proceed towards a spruced-up lorry with huge flex posters of his and BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. The posters also contain small photographs of other senior party leaders, and the vehicle has a powerful public address system.
In the heart of the village, a small crowd gathers, as Mr. Sriramulu starts delivering his speech.
Meanwhile, the other spruced-up lorry that is part of the convoy would reach another venue where Mr. Sriramulu is scheduled to address the voters.
Elsewhere, it would only be a visit and interaction with the people before Mr. Sriramulu goes to the next village. This remained a pattern throughout his election campaign. Though there is paucity of time, Mr. Sriramulu’s convoy, en route another village, stops for a while to meet another group of youth waiting to greet him. The youth, mostly in their teens, appear satisfied when he responds, shaking hands with them.
Even as his convoy moves on to the next scheduled stop, Mr. Sriramulu makes time for mediapersons covering his campaign trail. He shares with them his relentless efforts to emerge victorious in the constituency and also his campaigning for party candidates in neighbouring constituencies.
Mr. Sriramulu’s speeches seem the same throughout the trail. He repeatedly recalls the blessings the people showered on him on earlier occasions and urges the voters to continue to bless him and help him make Mr. Modi the next prime minister.
He trains his guns at the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre and also the Siddaramaiah government in the State for not fulfilling the promises they made to the people. He mentions the various scams that occurred at the Centre and says that these have left the farmers in the lurch.
Listing out the achievements of the erstwhile BJP government in the State, Mr. Sriramulu does not forget to highlight his contribution as Health Minister — 108 ambulance service and health insurance that provides cashless medical treatment/surgery to the economically weaker sections of society.