The level of creativity crosses all the possible limits during the election season in India. Politicians and their supporters come up with bizarre ways of election campaigning in order to attract the media attention, persuade voters, and engage existing supporters. A glimpse of this can be seen in the ongoing political campaigning for the upcoming Telangana assembly elections. In the run-up to assembly elections in Telangana, the leaders of the ruling TRS are resorting to some ridiculous campaign methods in order to woo the voters.
Madhusudan Chari, the former speaker of the Telangana Assembly in order to convince people to vote for him has resorted to a unique way of offering free-shave to the people. Not just shave, in one of the Chari’s viral video clips, he can be seen touching the voters’ feet.
Former Telangana Rashtra Samiti lawmaker and party’s candidate from Thungathurthi, Gadari Kishore is no exception in offering exceptional treatment to voters, he gives haircut to people in order to persuade them to vote in his favour. The list continues to go longer with TRS legislator Shakeel Ahmed spoon feeding voters, demanding his re-election on Bodhan seat. TRS candidate and sitting MLA from Mahbubnagar, Srinivas Goud has participated in the construction activities with labourers, he can also be seen offering help in knitting clothes and helping women carry water pots.
Another TRS leader from Illandu constituency, Koram Kanakaiah assisted a voter to bathe while visiting his home to appeal for vote. He justified his act by saying, “I helped the person take a bath not because I wanted to get more votes. I helped him on humanitarian grounds. One of my supporters must have clicked the photos and posted them on social media.”
In order to garner attention and votes, Shankar Nayak, TRS candidate from Mahabubabad constituency ironed voters’ clothes. He justified his act by saying, “No one insisted that I visit the laundry shop. I went there as part of the my campaign programme to express my sympathy and empathy for the dhobis in Telangana. Our KCR government has introduced many welfare schemes for not only dhobis but also the barber community.”
This trend of bizarre campaigning is not limited to the TRS party only, Youth Congress president Anil Kumar Yadav is doing an eye-catching activity to woo voters, be it the act of frying okra or making dosa.
As if all these bizarre tactics were not enough, candidates finally have started to resort to the obsolete ‘cash for vote’ exercise. According to the Economic Times report, E Ravinder Reddy, the TRS candidate from Yallareddy was caught on camera offering a group of women Rs 5 lakh in return for an alleged “resolution” on the part of voters, of casting their votes for his party.
All these theatrics give rise to many serious questions. Whether the ruling TRS has nothing to show as far as their success and groundwork in governance is concerned. Are these theatrics, the only way left with them to gain votes and the media attention? What were they doing in the last five years? If the ruling party has done enough to improve the condition of Telangana, then the leaders should not indulge in cheap theatrics to garner votes. The result of these cheap theatrics can only be decided by the people of state on December 7 when Telangana will go for polls.
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