BMC Polls: BJP leaders cycle their way through city streets to woo voters

Mumbai, Feb 13: Residents of CP Tank, Madhavbaug, Kumbharwada and surrounding area were in for a treat with an innovative election campaign rally for BJP candidate Atul Shah. BJP leader Shaina NC, who came up with the idea of rallying on a bicycle, peddled her way through the small lanes of Kumbharwada, Madhavbaug and Kamathipura on Sunday morning along with supporters and party workers. Unlike most campaign rallies which utilise vehicles, voters and residents were relieved to see the small lanes devoid of vehicles and loudspeakers.

Explaining the innovative idea of environment-friendly rallies for campaigns, Shaina NC said that these areas have narrow lanes interconnecting with each building and house. “We wanted to meet all the residents who are our voters, and using a bicycle seemed like the best way to it. The idea has been picked up by youth in the area and they were really impressed with the approach. Instead of using vehicles, huge vans, generators and big microphones for campaigning and sloganeering, this was simplest environment-friendly and health conscious approach which attracted the youth,” said Shaina after the rally.

Shaina said the bicycles have specially designed holograms of the party symbol (lotus) and picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Few bicycles had placards with messages like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, Jandhan Yojna and other projects. “It was silent but effective. We are happy that people were glad to see us on a bicycle and took our novel approach in its true spirit,” said Shaina, sporting sneakers and riding a bicycle.

Atul Shah, BJP candidate from ward 220 is challenging Shiv Sena candidate Surendra Bagalkar, a three-term corporator. Shah said this was a small effort to set an example rather than just making statements. We are requesting people to use few vehicles and more bicycles in their daily lives, making it easier for pedestrians as they will have more space to walk. In fact, in my campaign, I stress over the issue of decongesting small lanes which witness traffic jams with the vehicles on both sides, leaving practically no space for pedestrians. I also plan to decongest few lanes by making it vehicle-free during peak hours so that women and children travelling to school, vegetable market and shopping areas can walk with ease. There will be less of noise pollution too,” said Shah.

Manish Chaurasia, from Kumbharwada lane 1 said it was a delightful sight.

“When we saw the BJP candidate and leaders on bicycles, it felt good to know that the party’s candidate is adhering to the Swachhta Abhiyan started by PM Modi and spreading a pollution-free environment message,” said Chaurasia.