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Candidates opt for innovation

mumbai Updated: Feb 03, 2012 01:09 IST
Naresh Kamath

In the next few days, Byculla residents will wake up to folk artists urging them to vote for a particular candidate. Similarly, residents of Parel will be audience to street plays depicting how political parties have failed them.

As the civic polls draw nearer, an increasing number of candidates are adopting novel campaigning methods. For instance, Shirley Singh, an independent candidate from ward number 64 in Juhu has launched an interactive website with a database of voters in her ward. “We are emailing to voters information about their voting card number, location of the booth and so on,” said Singh.

The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) candidate from Byculla ward 202, Samita Naik, has printed pamphlets in four languages apart from Marathi. “We have 12 folk artists in traditional dresses campaigning for us,” said Naik.

Independent candidate Bhaskar Prabhu, from ward 195 (Bhoiwada) prefers the street play as a medium. “Such tools are really effective to convey the message,” he said.

Congress legislator from Vile Parle, Krishna Hegde, on the other hand, hopes to add some glitz to the candidates’ campaign by roping in his contacts in the film industry. “Film stars create a buzz and excitement. There is also a chance of fans voting for the candidate whom the star endorses,” said Hegde.

On the other hand, BJP rebel candidate Jyoti Avlani, from Vile Parle, ward number 80, has decided to personally visit old colleagues, friends and acquaintances to win their support

However, traditional modes like rallies and door-to-door campaigns will not be abandoned.

Poltical observes said that candidates are trying to reach out to maximum people in the short time period. “Such campaigns ensure visibility. Most itizens do not know the candidates and politicians want to make them aware,” said Nilu Damle, a political analyst.