Any visitor to Belgaum will find to his utter shock and dismay that there are absolutely no signs of elections at all in Belgaum city and several districts around.
On the face of it, it looks as if there is no interest at all in electing nearly 3 legislators 8 days from now. If there are no posters, buntings and banners and propaganda vehicles with blaring loud speakers, it is thanks largely to the Election Commission.
The big brother is so fearsome this time around that all political parties and candidates have meekly gone sub-surface for fear of violating the code that the commission has imposed. So much so, the former prime minister complained the other day that even to take a leak, he and others involved in the election process would have to seek prior permission!
That might be an exaggeration by a whole mile but the fact is that the Election Commission has ensured that this election in Karnataka is, certainly in a physical sense, very clean. It has been so sanitised that the usual indicators one seeks in the run-up to polling are completely missing.
Candidates, who now have to trudge from one door to another instead of raising the decibel level and holding meetings, are as clueless as anyone else on how things are shaping up. So are the political parties and certainly pundits
The election buzz is missing, not just from the roads of Belgaum, but from the local papers too. Only 8 days more for Belgaum to go to polls, but it seems like elections is just another news for an otherwise busy city.
People tried other ways to woe the voters, in the same act Abhay Patil who had given a meal saying it was a wedding feast was arrested and then later released on bail.