Mysuru: Thirty-one days left for the May 12 voting and all the offices of political parties, which otherwise are abuzz with hectic activities, are sporting a deserted look. Except for a handful of party workers and a couple of leaders, the offices are almost empty. And those who were present at these offices are only engaged in guessing games.
On any day, an office of a political party is a nerve-centre and a place to discuss party affairs where meetings are held with National, State and District-level leaders. It is a place where strategies are discussed and conveyed to ground-level leaders. It is a meeting point of booth-level party workers and their leaders and a place to mobilise support and brief the media.
But since the announcement of poll schedule by the Election Commission on Mar. 27, there are hardly any activities at the offices of all the three prominent political parties in city — the Congress, the BJP and the JD(S). And once the official candidates are announced, the offices will literally be deserted. For any activity to be seen at these offices, that particular political party must win the elections and that we will know only after May 15.
While the Congress party has its office on the Dasappa Circle Road near the City Railway Station, the BJP’s office is at Nazarbad and the JD(S) has its office on Seshadri Iyer Road.
When Star of Mysore did a reality check of the party offices yesterday, we found that there was absolutely no activity at “Indira Gandhi Congress Bhavan” or at the BJP office. Only the JD(S) office had a small crowd following the arrival of their party leader Madhu Bangarappa to campaign for party candidates in city.
One reason for this desertion of party offices is that prospective candidates along with the party leaders would have gone into the hinterland for campaigning. Party workers cite the examples of Chief Minister Siddharamaiah, who has already completed two legs of his campaigns to win Chamundeshwari constituency that is presently held by G.T. Devegowda of the JD(S) and B.Y. Vijayendra, a probable BJP candidate, who is aggressively campaigning in Varuna where he is facing the CM’s son Dr. Yathindra.
These two constituencies — Varuna and Chamundeshwari — have gained national importance where once friends and now political foes (G.T. Devegowda and Siddharamaiah) are slugging it out in Chamundeshwari and the younger sons of current Chief Minister Siddharamaiah (Dr. Yathindra) and a former CM B.S. Yeddyurappa (B.Y. Vijayendra) are fighting it out in Varuna.
Coming to the constituencies, the otherwise quiet and peaceful villages have become vibrant and loud after various political parties in the district intensified their election publicity campaigns for the elections.
Even as candidates are busy with door-to-door election campaigns, mass assemblies organised by various political parties are common sight in villages.
The campaigning will hit feverish pitch once the candidates are officially announced. Party leaders say that their offices are deserted as the cadres and candidates have left for village-centred publicity campaigns.
Speaking to Star of Mysore, City BJP President Dr. B.H. Manjunath said that though the office of a political party is a nerve centre where strategies are discussed, the BJP office has now been limited to a few meetings that too only when the State and national-level leaders come calling.
“Now the centre of activity is the constituencies where the candidates interact with the voters. Instead of sitting at the offices, field visits are important where the candidates can directly connect with the voters. Our cadres are actively involved in mass assemblies, interactions, meetings, and agenda discussion within their constituencies,” he added.
City Congress President R. Murthy also admitted that the Congress office is deserted as the candidates and cadres are on field visits.
“Now-a-days, each candidate is expected to tour his constituency extensively and cover all the villages. He/ she must know the constituency and voters from close quarters otherwise the candidate will pay a heavy price,” Murthy said.