Political drive: Candidates using high-end cars to ride to victory

  • Aneesha Bedi, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Aug 21, 2015 12:15 IST
NSUI supporters campaigning in a jeep which has been painted blue to symbolise the party’s colour at Panjab University on Wednesday. (Karun Sharma/HT)

Swanky cars, modified jeeps, leaders dressed in crisp white kurta pyjamas – the atmosphere on the Panjab University (PU) campus is more festive than ever. With the elections to the PU Campus Students’ Council slated for August 26, it is time for various party leaders to make their presence felt and what better way to do it then flaunt their money and power.

Eager to make a mark, leaders are arranging expensive cars- whether from friends or even hiring from high-end car rental services- to lure voters in the run-up to the elections. BMWs, jeeps or ‘thar’ as they fondly address their beloved vehicle, campaign rallies, flashy posters- all are a part of the annual festive election spirit.

‘All about the numbers’

High on fashion and luxury cars, NSUI leaders are slogging hard for victory. Admitting the one-upmanship among organisations, a NSUI supporter requesting anonymity said, “It’s all about the numbers game. The more you engage in such campaigning, higher are the chances of gaining mass appeal for the party.”

As if that weren’t enough, some party members have even modified their jeeps to match the colour of the vehicle with that of the party’s symbolic colour. “It is a way of showing solidarity with the party am supporting. I decided to paint my jeep blue as I want NSUI to win the elections and blue is their colour,” said Bhavym Jain.

Similarly, women supporters of SOI were also seen hooting in jeeps with orange coloured banners of the party creating an exhilarating bustle.

‘A part of campaigning’

Members of the student organisations driving high-end cars like the Audi and the BMW take pride in it like no one else. Sony Rehal and Dharminder Middukhera, who both are pursuing MA in defence affairs, said that this happens every year during elections. “It’s nothing new actually. It has become a way of campaigning year after year.”

Another student contesting elections, who did not wish to be named, said,”Soon, party leaders will start hiring vehicles from local car hiring agencies, both SUVs and even Innova. This tends to happen closer to the election day or on that day itself to attract maximum attention.”

Sharwani Sood, who is pursuing MA in political science at the university, was honest enough to confess that women tend to get attracted to parties who are seen campaigning in high-end cars or modified jeeps. “It is but natural that swanky cars be it a “thar” or SUV, with leaders dressed up smartly, will attract attention,” she said.

For the budding leaders, a ride on a BMW, an Audi, an open jeep or in any other car for that matter seems like a political drive paving the path to the future.

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