Candidates contesting the elections to the Legislative Assembly are seeking divine intervention of a different sort. As the Election Commission mounts a strict vigil on expenditure, candidates are sending their voters on pilgrimages in a bid to woo them.
Dharmasthala, Udupi, Kukke Subrahmanya, Sringeri and Horanadu in the State and Om Shakti and Karumariyamman temples in Tamil Nadu, are among the pilgrimage centres that candidates are targeting, sources in the tourism industry said. In fact, buses have already been booked for such purposes by people close to the candidates.
The idea of taking voters on pilgrimages was first introduced by a senior Bharatiya Janata Party politician during the last Assembly elections.
An estimated 20,000 voters were sent to Ajmer’s Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty Dargah by the politician, who spent lakhs on such pilgrimages to coincide with the date of election.
For the record, he won the elections by a margin of about 4,900 votes.
For voters who are not spiritually inclined, a gala time awaits on the beaches of Goa with a free flow of spirits and food to keep them happy. “Buses have been booked for these trips and cooks will accompany them.
A sumptuous spread is being planned with special focus on non-vegetarian delicacies from the old Mysore region,” sources said.