This Ugadi — coming in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections — will see candidates and their supporters continuing the campaign but with a festive touch. Interestingly, the accent appears to be particularly on the women cadre to give it the tenor of a meet-and-greet goodwill gesture.
Members of the Karnataka Mahila Congress will visit a minimum of 100 households each, distributing “bevu bella” (neem and jaggery, a signature offering of this festival) and “arishina kumkuma” to women. The Bharatiya Janata Party too has asked its women cadre to visit households in their vicinity in Bengaluru to offer “bevu bella”.
B. Pushpa Amarnath, president of the Karnataka Mahila Congress, said this soft touch is important because Ugadi is a festival that marks the new year and celebrated by all communities. In fact, giving herself an early start, on Friday, Ms. Amarnath distributed “bevu bella” at M.G. Circle in Chickballapur.
Congress women members at the block, district, and State level, and office-bearers in charge of constituencies are pledged to visit houses. The day after Ugadi being a Sunday, women members are expected to continue their door-to-door campaign.
As far as the candidates are concerned, they will venture out and continue their usual campaign after the ‘puja’ in the morning and meet people who will be at home. Congress candidate for Bengaluru North and Minister for Rural Development Krishna Byre Gowda said, “We will do door-to-door campaign and greet people of the constituency.”
Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge, who is engaged in the campaign for his father, M. Mallikarjun Kharge, in Kalaburagi, said holiday on the Ugadi would help candidates to reflect on their strategy employed so far and work out next strategy.
In the BJP, a large number of workers — mostly men — are getting ready to make door-to-door visits in Bengaluru to distribute pamphlets containing Ugadi greetings, which will come embedded with the slogan “Modi once again”. The distribution would begin after the traditional festivities to be organised by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which holds Ugadi programmes every year, party sources said.
BJP leaders in Bengaluru North are also planning to hold Ugadi festival at a meeting of north Indian residents, who do not traditionally celebrate this festival, to seek their support.