Parties feel the heat, rethink campaign schedule


Electioneering to be restricted to early morning and evening hours as summer peaks

The scorching sun seems to have forced political parties in Ernakulam to redraw their campaign plans for the Lok Sabha elections.

Even though they may differ drastically in their ideologies, leaders and workers of various parties are united in their view that campaigning will not be possible when summer heat is at its peak.

“Earlier, we used to campaign till 1 p.m from the morning before resuming it at 3 p.m after a break. It may not be possible for workers to go on the streets in the blazing sun considering the unusual rise in temperatures,” said CPI(M) district committee member M. Anilkumar.

Maintaining that the Election Commission could have scheduled the elections for the first week of April in view of the heat condition, Mr. Anilkumar said summer heat would be extreme when the State goes to the polls on April 23. “However, party workers will work out ways to ensure that they do not get dehydrated,” he said.

BJP district president N.K. Mohandas said in a lighter vein that the lethal heat had overtaken the election heat. “Definitely, we will not be asking party workers to go out in extreme heat to campaign,” he added.

Holding that door-to-door campaign timings will be revised owing to the blazing heat, Mr. Mohandas said the campaign would be extended to 10 p.m and beyond instead of winding it up by 8 p.m. The time from 5 p.m to 10 p.m could be used to its best to overcome the gap between 11 a.m and 3 p.m. It is not proper to ask workers to engage in campaigning in peak summer hours,” he added.

District Congress Committee president T.J. Vinod said a strategy would be worked out to utilise morning and evening hours for campaign. “Going by the searing heat prevailing in the district, campaign between 11 a.m and 4 p.m in the open is not practical.

“Instead, we will focus more on indoor work and use the evening and early morning hours to reach out to maximum number of voters,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 10:08:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/parties-feel-the-heat-rethink-campaign-schedule/article26525793.ece

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