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Door-to-door campaign on holiday works wonders

The race for the first Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) elections to be held on May 15 is getting fierce now. With the clock ticking fast, candidates are optimally using the limited time to reach out to a maximum number of voters.

india Updated: May 09, 2011 01:12 IST
Vimal Chander Joshi

The race for the first Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) elections to be held on May 15 is getting fierce now. With the clock ticking fast, candidates are optimally using the limited time to reach out to a maximum number of voters.

Deepak Sharma, an independent candidate from ward No. 32, tactfully chose the houses he visited on Sunday as part of his door-to-door campaigning strategy. He didn't waste time on meeting people who don't have valid voter ID cards.

“Our ward has over 16,000 voters and it is among the biggest wards, which is why we had to be selective. This is because hundreds of people here are not on the voters' list officially,” said Sharma.

“It’s futile to spend time at such houses. For example, in Valley View, only 200 households have voter ID cards although the total number of flats are over 1,000,” added Sharma, who is a vice-president with a real estate company.

The need for ‘selective campaigning’ is also due to the cap in pre-poll expenditure, which is just R75,000. “Considering this limit, one can't make liberal use of loudspeakers and posters. The most cost-effective way to strike a chord with voters is door-to-door campaigning, for which one needs a lot of time,” said Sharma.

However, ward No. 2 candidate Tushar Bahmani is not selective. “I am going door to door and it doesn't matter to me whether residents have valid voter ID cards. If they don't have them, they can still cast votes by using any identification proof (such as driving licence or passport),” said Bahmani, a law graduate from Indraprastha University.

Candidates who are contesting from smaller wards can afford to sweep through the entire area without being selective. “We have only three main areas in our ward — Ardee City, Wazirabad and Indira Colony. We will cover these in their entirety,” said a relative of Ashok Kumar, who is contesting from ward No. 31. This area has just 8,137 voters.

On Sunday, all candidates squeezed the maximum mileage as most office-goers were present at their homes. During weekdays campaigning hours are limited to mornings and evenings.