R. Vimal Kumar

Candidates, party workers resort to personal contacts to swing votes

Few of the candidates have succeeded in getting audience with groups of Malayalis

Tirupur: With the high-voltage campaigning for the Parliamentary elections coming to end on Monday, election meetings, mega rallies and blare of loud speakers have been slowly giving way to door-to-door canvassing by the candidates and their workers/activists in Tirupur Lok Sabha constituency.

The candidates are also resorting to personal contacts in their attempt to touch a sympathetic chord with the voters and thereby swing the votes in their favour. Since Malayali voter base is sizeable in the constituency, candidates of recognised and registered parties in the fray are vying each other to reach out to them desperately through the office-bearers of Tirupur Kerala Samajam and Kerala Cultural Centre, two of the prominent non-resident Keralities associations in the constituency. According to sources, about 90,000 out of the estimated three lakh Malayali population in the constituency spread over Tirupur North, Tirupur South, Gobichettipalayam, Anthiyur, Perundurai and Bhavani are having their names enlisted in the photo electoral roll.

Few of the candidates have even succeeded in getting an audience with groups of Malayali families under one roof with the help of these associations.

However, representatives of Malayali associations told The Hindu that they had conveyed affirmatively to the candidates that exercising the franchise for any party would be the discretion f sisndividuals since the organisations remain apolitical.

Interestingly, door-to-door campaigns at times are raising its share of laughter too as the people hired by the candidates to distribute pamphlets and handbills go overboard to quote messages out of text from the parties’ poll manifestoes.

One set of door-to-door campaigners for a prominent candidate at Mannarai in the city told residents that if they could elect him to power, he would open more private textile units. (infact they were referring to the party’s promise that employment opportunities would be created to overcome the impact of global meltdown on textile industry).

The most worrying factor for all contenders is the growing indifference of the middle, upper middle class and academically educated electorate towards much hype of the electioneering, which is keeping them guessing their victory chances.