Kerala polls: Candidates gatecrash weddings seeking votes

  • Ramesh Babu, Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Updated: Apr 26, 2016 00:03 IST
BJP’s Thiruvananthapuram central candidate, S Sreesanth, with a newly-wed couple. (Ramesh Babu/HT Photo)

Kerala is under the grip of a poll fever and even newly-wed couples haven’t escaped the rising political temperature.

Wedding parties are keeping some extra plates for election candidates and their supporters, who are regularly gate-crashing functions.

Invited or not, candidates throng wedding ceremonies as such events are an opportunity to meet many people and are good for photo opportunities. Many candidates usually skip food but succumb when the hosts persist.

In Thiruvananthapuram, all three major candidates descended on a reception held in an auditorium two days ago.

When the candidates and their hangers on stepped in to bless the newly -wed couple, a stampede-like situation broke out in the packed auditorium.

But many newly-weds enjoy the presence of politicians and pose for selfies. “They toil only these days. Once elected they won’t even recognise you,” said Madhavan Nair, a retired government servant whose niece got married last week.

Leading the pack is former speedster of Team India, S Sreesanth, who is the BJP candidate from Thiruvananthapuram central. The changeover is natural for him — in no time he floors the gathering and obliges for selfies. “Though it is gruelling, I enjoy my new innings, he said. For young people and the newly-wed, getting a selfie with their favourite candidate is an instant road to popularity. Many of them circulate the selfies in social media.

At times, candidates resort to the selfie prank. Congress candidate from Nilambur, Aryadan Shoukath, excitedly clicked selfies during an Adivasi wedding and posted those on his poll page to add colour. Two days ago, CM Oommen Chandy paid the price for yielding to such requests. He suffered minor injuries on his leg when a glass pane collapsed under the pressure of those trying to pose with him.

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