March 9, 2021

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Skillful Technology Connoisseurs

Gujarat: Independents depend on gadget gimmick | Vadodara News

VADODARA/AHMEDABAD: Laptops, headphones or CCTV cameras may be a far cry in remote hamlets of tribal-dominated Chhota Udepur district. But, in the upcoming panchayat elections, candidates have armed themselves with all the modern gadgets. Not literally, but as their election symbols!
The election commission has issued 162 symbols for independent candidates and some of the new entrants like a pen drive, headphones, computer mouse, mobile phone charger, laptop, CCTV camera, noodles bowl, vacuum cleaner have been lapped up quickly.
While many are looking forward to having these devices which have become a way of life as their election symbols, some are hesitant as the voters may not be able to relate to them. While the registered parties have their fixed 53 symbols, the independents had crowded at administrative offices in the last two days to select their symbols.
“Had there been a mobile phone symbol, our panel would have immediately chosen that, as every person uses one. But if not a mobile, we will have a phone charger as one of our three choices,” said Ambalal Dungra Bhil, former sarpanch of Kukarda village who is now contesting the February 28 polls.
“Not all voters will not know many of these symbols,” said another candidate Jayanti Bhil. “But a laptop or CCTV camera can attract young voters,” he added. Bhil has selected CCTV camera as one of his three choices of symbols.
Dr Jayesh Shah, a psephologist and a policy strategist in Vadodara, said, “People from tribal areas are well aware of modern devices and many even use it.”
“In a research, we have found out that labourers from tribal areas use pen drives to listen to music and watch movies,” he added.
In Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) polls too, the independents have picked up gadgets as their symbols. Candidates in Thaltej, Saraspur and Rakhial have opted for laptops while at least least others have chosen CCTV and six candidates have mobile chargers as symbols.
A senior officer in Ahmedabad collectorate added they are being flooded with requests for gadgets this time as compared to the previous elections. “This is a change from the past when sewing machines, match boxes, water tanks, brick balloons and gas stoves were favourites,” he said.