Candidates sending SMS to voters

Koraput: As polling day for urban bodies elections draws nearer, electioneering has gone into e-mode at Jeypore in Odisha's Koraput district. Candidates are sending SMS to voters, seeking support for the September 19 election.
 
"Though we are conducting door-to-door campaigning and street corner meetings, sending SMSes to voters is fast and economic," said former Koraput MLA Tara prasad Bahinipati, who is spearheading the Congress campaign at Jeypore.
 
The candidates have prepared a database of respective voters and sending them messages at regular intervals. "As only a few days left for the voting day and we have to cover the entire ward two to three times before Tuesday, the last day for electioneering, sending SMSes is the easiest way," said Akshaya Sahu, a BJP candidate.
 
District youth president of BJD Dharmendra Adhikari said. "These days almost all people have mobile phones. I am sending around 500 SMSes a day, requesting people to vote for our party."
 
The SMSes have come in handy for independent candidates, who lack high-voltage electioneering.
 
"As I can't spend huge money on canvassing materials like the political parties are doing, messages are the best option for me to reach out to my voters in quick time with less effort," said an independent candidate.
 
Several candidates are also taking help of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to reach out to voters, although their outreach is limited.
 
Political observers said candidates are looking alternative ways after the State Election Commission put a cap on spending. Jeypore municipality has 28 wards with 60,401 voters. However, election will be held for 27 wards as the BJD won ward 26 uncontested with the Congress candidate withdrawing his nomination.