Parties come together on visiting card
There is one place where you can find the Lotus, the Hand and the Elephant: the visiting card of a person employed with the printer of election material. Jolly Printers of Ulhasnagar, Maharashtra, has set up a temporary kiosk outside the Congress headquarters in Ahmedabad. The visiting cards of those running it have the symbols of all political parties printed in a neat line in appropriate party colours. To solicit business a few local boys have been engaged to distribute the cards to candidates, but since they do not know who the candidates are, the cards are being given out to all and sundry, including visiting press reporters.
RPI candidate grabs the eyeballs
Among the oddballs contesting the elections is a eunuch, Sonia De. As the Republican Party of India’s candidate from the Shahpur seat, she may not be a serious contender, but she certainly grabbed attention when she arrived to file her nomination papers, riding an ornate horse carriage. Why should anyone vote for her? “I have no family which I would want to amass wealth for,” she says. “Unlike other candidates you can be sure I will always remain honest.”
Cong rebels on a rampage
It is not only the BJP that is fighting rebels. For the last two days the Congress office in Ahmedabad has been resounding to the chants of Hai, hai. The supporters of at least eight Congressmen who hoped to get tickets, have gone on a rampage, smashing window panes. The entire party unit from the constituencies the ticket-hopefuls were lobbying for, have resigned, including Shaherkotda and Naroda in Ahmedabad.
Notorious Porbander comes clean
Porbander, it seems, has decided to go in for an image makeover. The birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi had become a den of crime in the 1990s where contestants from all parties, had long criminal records. But this time BJP candidate Shantaben Odera and the Congress’s Modhwadia have squeaky-clean, middle class images. Odera owns a hotel in the town, while Modhwadia is an engineer.