A day to go, parties use informal routes to woo voters

by Web Desk | Updated: 2017-02-20

As the loudspeakers fell silent and the cacophony of drums gave way to silence, ending a high-voltage election campaign for the Mumbai municipality and other local bodies in the state, parties and candidates lent a personal touch to canvassing to woo voters.
A number of candidates and their polling officers attempted to establish a connect with voters enquiring if they had been apprised of their election booth number and had received their polling slips. Some veteran contestants even began contacting voters in their constituency over the phone urging them to vote for them.
A contender for a seat in Borivali confirmed that he and his supporters had started holding secret corner meetings inside building premises almost immediately after the campaigning ended at 5.30 pm, in a last-ditch effort to reach voters. “In a multi-cornered contest, a few votes can mean the difference between victory and defeat. As reaching out to voters individually is important, we are contacting people over the phone,” said a sitting corporator.
With the campaigning coming to an end, the focus for all parties now is on ensuring that the electorate loyal to them turns out to vote in big numbers. The spotlight is on the booth managers. “Each of our booth managers have been tasked with the job to reach out to 100 families,” said a senior BJP leader from North East Mumbai. Poll managers from all parties also kicked off the process of securing booth-wise voter feedback from local workers. Private WhatsApp messages were also being circulated.
Election Commission officials said vigilance had been intensified to curb use of unethical election practices, including distribution of money, liquor, or use of muscle power to influence voters.