Malegaon (Maharashtra), April 1: Braving 45 degrees Celsius temperature, AAP candidate for Dhule Lok Sabha seat Ansari N. Ahmed has embarked on a 50-km walkathon to file his nomination papers, a party leader said here Tuesday.
“We started this afternoon from Malegaon and have already covered around 10 km. The march will continue for some time tonight, tomorrow (Wednesday) and we shall reach Dhule on Thursday to file the papers,” Ahmed’s aide and media consultant Aleem Faizee told IANS.
Accompanied by scores of supporters waving brooms — the Aam Aadmi Party’s election symbol — the 57-year-old academician will informally campaign during the walkathon and mingle with villagers.
Dhule is among the few parliamentary constituencies in India which span two adjoining districts – Nashik and Dhule – in northwest Maharashtra, with the main poll panel office situated in Dhule.
“This road venture will give Ansari a golden chance to directly reach out to the ordinary folk who hardly get to meet or speak with their elected representatives,” Faizee said.
He said that in contrast, candidates from other parties indulge in the “luxury culture” of travelling by a fleet of vehicles, eating lavish food and hiring people for rallies.
They barely attempt to meet the common man even while campaigning, he said.
During the two-and-half-day walkathon, Ansari will pass through over two dozen villages and personally interact with more than 50,000 voters, and distribute handbills and AAP caps.
Dhule constituency – currently held by Bharatiya Janata Party’s P.N. Sonawane – will see a three-cornered battle with Congress leader and two-time legislator from Shirur, Amrish Patel, and BJP’s Subhash Bhamre.
Around 1.60 million electorate comprising 700,000 Marathas, 450,000 Muslims and others from different backward classes are eligible to vote in Dhule.