Candidates make last-minute efforts to woo votersApr 16th, 2009 | By Elections2009 | Category: Kerala
|They call on people and make social visits across the Ernakulam Lok Sabha constituency|
KOCHI: Though the public address systems fell silent and the din and bustle of campaign ended by late afternoon on Tuesday, the candidates for the Ernakulam Lok Sabha constituency had a busy day on Wednesday canvassing votes on a one-on-one basis.
Despite the fatigue from a month of hectic campaign that sapped their physical stamina, the candidates called old friends and acquaintances on the phone, called on several people who had been missed out and made social visits at random across the constituency.
For Sindhu Joy, the day began with calling at some select homes in her Panampilly Nagar neighbourhood where she spent a couple of hours. Then she rushed to Panayikkulam, where she took part in a children’s baptism ceremony at the famous Kunnel Palli church.
In view of the strict code of conduct laid down by the Election Commission, the visits, accompanied by a few campaign volunteers and friends, were without any fanfare. She greeted and made small talk with prospective voters along the way.
After a stopover at Uliyannoor, she headed for Paravur and then, late in the afternoon, to Gothuruthu, where she had missed out several families.
The LDF campaign thus ended, once and for all, at Gothuruthu by sundown. Ms. Joy is happy that the LDF campaign had picked up momentum during the closing week with the CPI(M) commandeering the manpower of its feeder organisations into the campaign. The campaign volunteers had visited voters’ homes two or three times and made sure that all the CPI(M) sympathisers would make it to the polling booth on Thursday.
It was a day of silent campaign and personal visits for UDF candidate K.V. Thomas and the BJP candidate A.N. Radhakrishnan on the eve of the general election.
As the poll code banned public meeting and open campaigns of all sorts, the candidates focused on meeting the party functionaries who could make the crucial difference between victory and defeat on Wednesday.
Mr. Thomas visited the coastal belt of the constituency and some former party office bearers in the area. His visit focused on Kannamaly, Chellanam, Kumbalanghi and Palluruthy areas.
Later in the day, he visited some convents and nunneries in the constituency.
He also attended a wedding reception in the city. Mr. Thomas then visited the Kurunkotta Island in Kochi backwaters where there are 240 voters. In the evening, the candidate toured the Madavana, Panangad and Kumbalam areas and also paid a visit to the Lourde hospital.
Mr. Thomas spent considerable time on Wednesday talking to key party workers including booth presidents and some eminent citizens of the city.
“On Wednesday, I made around 2,000 telephone calls seeking support and blessings,” he said. According to him, nearly 90 per cent of the booth committees of the party have become active during this campaign. Instructions were given to party workers to meet the voters who were missed out in the campaign and issue slips for helping them to vote, he said.
Mr. Radhakrishnan used the finishing hours of the campaign to meet the workers in the industrial belt. He personally met workers of Binani Zinc and a few other industrial units. He visited two colonies in the city also.
Mr. Radhakrishnan hoped that the support offered by two major social organisations would help him in the election.
On the eve of polling, he visited the local leaders of the organisations. A meeting of the party workers for activating the system for the crucial day was the last event in the day’s programme for Mr. Radhakrishnan.