Telangana poll contestants seek to dance, grieve, shave beards to win voters' hearts

31 Oct 2018

Desperate times call for desperate measures and contesting an election could be one of those.
Candidates out on the hustings in election-bound Telangana can be seen playing pallbearers, dancing themselves into a frenzy at local festivals and even shaving beards of customers in a barber's shop. Often pilloried for neglecting their constituents and showing up only during elections, these hard-boiled campaigners are trying every trick in the book to shave off some of the criticism by establishing personal connect with voters.
Some tech-savvy contestants are also taking to social media like Facebook and Twitter to reach out to the digitally-literate voter. A video showing Madhusudhana Chary, the Speaker of the now dissolved Assembly, carrying a bier was widely circulated on social media. There was also picture of Chary shaving the beard of a customer in a barber's shop. The TRS leader, who is seeking re-election from Bhupalpalle constituency, was recently seen spoon-feeding a destitute man on the campaign trail.
Former deputy chief minister T Rajaiah was seen breaking into a jig with women during a local festival. Others like caretaker chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's technology savvy son and the state's Information Technology and Industries Minister K T Rama Rao is using social media extensively to reach out to the electorate. Those close to him said Rama Rao has constituted a four-member team to handle his personal social media accounts.
Its job is to keep the young leader abreast of the latest developments and prepare content for social media. "He has four members who monitor his Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts. The TRS has about 100 members to monitor social media platforms. "Their job is to aggressively create awareness about government programmes, beneficiaries and also counter remarks by opposition parties and leaders," they told PTI.