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Last minute ‘campaigning’ keeps candidates on toes

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 - 7:11pm IST | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: dna

Door to door & group meetings keep nominees & party workers engaged on Tuesday

Drums and loud speakers fell silent and campaign vehicles rested as campaigning came to an end on Monday evening. But, even as the mercury rose, zeal and enthusiasm in party workers and candidates did not ebb on Tuesday. In fact, they worked harder to connect with voters as countdown to polling day drew to a close.

On Tuesday — the day before polling — few candidates chose to be at home and strategise with party workers and booth workers while others were involved in door-to-door campaigning, group meetings, meeting elite voters and community leaders to ensure fair participation. Candidates also made sure to visit all party offices in the constituency to seek workers’ support and encourage them to work hard on D-Day.

Paresh Rawal, the BJP candidate of Ahmedabad East, held meetings with a cross section of people. “He moved around to hold private meetings with community leaders and various sections of voters. Using social media, he also connected with young voters,” said a party worker involved in Rawal’s campaign.

For Himmatsinh Patel of the Congress, it was a time to take a break from the sweltering heat and stay home. “Party workers are visiting him constantly and micro-level planning for Wednesday is the prime agenda,” said a supporter.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidates, however, chose to reach out to voters individually. Dinesh Waghela and his team were busy in areas like Krishnanagar in Narol and Kubernagar. “We have formed a team of four people to visit households in different areas and explain why they should vote for AAP,” he said.

Things were no different for constituencies like Ahmedabad West and Gandhinagar either. In Ahmedabad West, all three candidates used the last day before polling to reach out to voters, primarily friends and relatives, in person. Kirit Solanki, the BJP candidate, said he visited Shahpur and Dudheshwar in the morning to hold group meetings. “We just had talks over tea with friends and people in groups of three or four reached out to as many people as possible and ensure that they voted.”

Similarly, AAP candidate Jayantilal Mewada, too, went visiting voters door to door at Asarwa while Congress’s Ishwar Makwana chaired small group meetings at Danilimda.

Most of the candidates of Gandhinagar were busy making last-minute arrangements with party workers. While they themselves did not attend any group meetings, party workers reached out to the electorate.

“We will be having a meeting with our party workers to go over booth management details one last time. Campaigning has come to an end and candidates will no longer be going anywhere. Right now, our focus is on tomorrow’s polls,” said Navin Patel of the BJP, adding that party workers may go to societies to meet people.

“Everything has come to a halt although we will be having a meeting with party workers at our office in the evening mainly to go over poll-day planning,” said Rituraj Mehta of AAP.

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