Remember the saying, “Necessity is the mother of all invention”.
Faced with the prospect of campaigning during the wedding season and the absence of sizeable crowds, Surat politicians have found an innovative way to connect voters.
Candidates in Surat have been virtually taking their band, baaja and baaraat to the wedding venues to do the canvassing for themselves. They can be already seen at some of the venues where marriage is taking place.
After the failure of rallies in the textile city, candidates have zeroed in on marriage ceremonies, where there is always a sizeable crowd. However, campaigning at marriage ceremonies is limited to distributing pamphlets and speaking about qualities of candidates and his party.
The theme is gaining momentum especially in Patel-dominated areas of the city, where marriage season is in full swing. Patels, a tightly-knit community, generally gather in large numbers at these weddings. This makes wedding an ideal occasion for candidates to canvass for themselves.
“Normally, more than 250 people gather at a wedding ceremony and gathering even that many people sometimes proves difficult. All care is taken to ensure that people don’t feel as if the campaigning is damaging their special occasion,” Rakesh Soliya, a BJP worker at Kamrej said.
BJP workers also double up as baaratis while groom’s relatives are on their way to the marriage hall. Similar campaign took place on Wednesday evening, where ‘baaratis’ were provided space to play garba by the BJP workers.
Congress is not behind either. The secularist party is not only attending Hindu weddings, but also weddings in minority communities. In some weddings, candidates just prefer to attend and give blessing to newlywed couple.
“People feel excited if a candidate attends their wedding and meets them. We have been at few weddings after name was finalized. We got good response from people. We can reach out to maximum people by campaigning at weddings,” Razak Patel, a NCP worker in Limbayat, said.