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Down the beaten path

Today’s political leaders and their diehard supporters are following what Mahatma Gandhi did years ago — walk the talk.

This simple mantra of reaching out to voters and personally addressing their problems has turned political leaders into full-time walkers. With no regard for time, these local political bigwigs are found almost anywhere anytime. Be it dawn, afternoon or late evening, these people are wasting no time, literally, to woo voters on their walks.

So, when a 65-year-old Harmu resident went out for his routine morning walk at 6.30am on Thursday, he was little surprised to be greeted by a group of five-six men who were out on a political tour.

Bhaiya iss baar taiyar hain, na? (Hello, you are prepared this time, right?),” asked one of the local netas wearing khaki shorts, white T-shirt and sneakers, standard morning walk gear.

Some half-a-kilometre from Harmu, another group of around 100 BJP ‘morning walkers’ in Argora was seen campaigning for their candidate from Ranchi seat Ram Tahal Choudhary.

Led by ward No. 37 councillor Arun Kumar Jha, the group covered Argora on foot in three hours. From Argora Chowk they went to Argora Basti via Argora Housing Colony, Vikas Nagar, Pahan Kocha and other areas. The area has over 10,000 voters.

At 11am, braving the scorching sun, AAP supporters started their campaign from Peace Road on Thursday. They travelled across Kantatoli, Samlong, Chutia, Karbala Chowk and Hindpiri.

But, the decision to go for campaigning on foot didn’t go down too well with party workers, oops, walkers.

“Senior leaders campaign on choppers and SUVs, but ask us to walk in this heat. This is not fair,” said an aam aadmi.

Some voters, however, seemed a little impressed. “These people have cars but are walking for votes,” smiled Arun Sahu, a resident of Argora.