The rhythmic nadaswara and shrill whistles by party workers shatter the silence of the quiet neighbourhood in Marasarahalli, a small village in Srinivasapura Gram Panchayat of Nelamangala Assembly constituency. The cacophony heralds the arrival of Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas M. Veerappa Moily.
Even as residents hurriedly come out of their houses, a small convoy of vehicles winds its way along the narrow path, and Mr. Moily, the Congress candidate from Chickballapur Lok Sabha constituency, gets down from his SUV to greet the elders.
Mr. Moily, along with former MLA N.L. Narendra Babu and former Minister Anjana Murthy, former Deputy Mayor B.S. Puttaraju and other party workers settle atop a heap of debris to address the gathering of residents. They project Mr. Moily as the man behind many important projects and decisions — ranging from CET system of admissions to IT parks in the State — and appeal to the residents to elect him for a second term.
Clad in a white dhoti and kurta, Mr. Moily first pays homage to a Congress leader from the village, Rangaswamy, who passed away recently. Striking a chord, the senior leader says: “I have visited this village several times and I know what you need the most. I assure you that the water scarcity in your village will be solved in the next one-and-a-half years.”
The convoy then moves on to Soledevanahalli crossing Ganananayakana Tandya and Dharmarayana Tandya, where the residents have gathered under the shade of a canopy.
After the introductory remarks by party workers, Mr. Moily says: “The Yetthinahole project is my priority, and I will ensure that you get regular water supply from it. I have the capacity to ensure that through the implementation of this project, your lakes will be filled and the water table will go up. You can become crorepathis.”
He says: “Chief Minister Sidaramaiah has promised work on the project will start in a week and be completed in two years. But, I will go a step ahead and promise you it will be done in one-and-a-half years.” Right on cue, the crowds applaud.
He said funds for the project were released as soon as the Congress came to power in the State. “The State government has sanctioned Rs. 13,000 crore. Tenders have already been called. Water will reach you within one-and-a-half years,” he says.
Several stops later, it’s time for lunch. The convoy makes a stop at Dasegowdanapalya. A simple lunch has been arranged at the house of panchayat leader C.R. Gowda. The senior leader has a hurried lunch and the campaigning goes on.