Dakshina Kannada: Talk about rising mercury overshadows political discourse during poll season

Team Udayavani, Apr 15, 2024, 10:11 AM IST

Bustling Bajpe weekly market

Mangaluru:  As the Lok Sabha elections draw near, engaging with voters reveals a reluctance to discuss political trends. Many seem to be more interested in knowing others’ opinions and preferences than in voicing their own.

With just over 10 days until voting commences, both major parties — BJP and the Congress- have nominated candidates and are strategizing accordingly. The Udayavani team focused on gauging voter sentiment in the Mulki and Moodbidire areas of the Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha constituency.

Spanning urban and rural areas, including Mudushedde, Padushedde, Karambar, Bajpe, Kateel, and Kinnigoli, the team encountered varied opinions.

We met Jayanna who was tending cattle in Padushedde Kudru. Initially hesitant to talk about the election, he opened up when the team persisted. The 60-year-old told Udayavani that he has never skipped voting and would vote this time too. It’s difficult to gauge that General elections are here he said and remarked “Please don’t ask me about my preferred candidate,” with a smile.

Similarly, Rakesh in Karambar near Maravoor said he was excited to see the direct contest between the two coalitions. “It’s intriguing to observe which alliance would secure more seats”, he said while observing that it’s premature to make a prediction at this moment.

Sulaiman from Bajpe carried a tone of disappointment, lamenting the fleeting attention from parties after polls get over. He remarked, “Every year, there is one election or another. Parties remember us voters only during the elections. Once everything is over, everyone acts aloof.”

Selvia from Permude, who had come to the weekly market at Bajpe said she is yet to finalize whom to vote. “It is our right to vote, and I exercise it every time. We will vote for those who promise to address our difficulties. Let them come, let them make promises,” she said.

As we headed towards Kateel, we observed a high number of devotees, likely due to the school holidays. Many devotees from neighboring districts had gathered at the Temple. Persons who had come to the district for school and college enrollment were also in the mix. However, none of them seemed to be interested in engaging in discussions about elections, political parties, or voting.

Sweltering heat trending topic: 

“Summer” and “scorching heat” are the prevalent topics of conversation, overshadowing discussions about the election. The temperature is exceptionally high, with no relief from rain. The intense heat makes it difficult to sleep at night, and despite drinking ample water, it remains insufficient, were the common complaints. With still a month left until the rainy season, conversations about coping with the sun’s intensity have become paramount.

With the elections just days away, the campaign frenzy is gradually picking up pace. There is a noticeable absence of bustling activity for this constituency, which witnessed intense competition during the 2023 State Assembly elections. The atmosphere lacks the usual fervor seen during the General Elections. The bus stands and markets are bustling with people, yet there’s a conspicuous absence of discussions urging people to vote.


With inputs from Bharath Shettigar

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