Koraput, April 5 (LocalWire): Politicians of the tribal-dominated Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangpur and Malkangiri districts have realised that going hi-tech will not give them mileage here.
So, while campaigning for the 11 April general election is going on in full swing, haats or weekly markets have been transformed into canvassing platforms for candidates.
‘In the tribal areas, we can’t depend on hi-tech campaigning methods as the majority of the people are mostly poor and illiterate. They do not have any access to modern means of communication and due to their inaccessibility, it is imperative for us to find other means of communicating with the villagers.
The weekly markets are good option for us to find a large audience coming from far off places. It saves both money and time,’ said a candidate from Koraput Assembly seat.
Haats, set up every seven days at specific spots, adequately meet the weekly requirement of the local people and are an integral part of the lives of these tribals.
The weekly markets are also considered as the central point of their socio-cultural activities and are thus being capitalised by the political parties to ensure a ready audience.
According to political observers, these markets are very effective campaigning podiums as each week villagers eagerly await for the haat which is a principal source of news gathering.
Apart from trading, the haats also offer recreation for the rural folk. But the sudden congregation of netas has taken the regular haat-goer by surprise.
‘Due to inaccessibility of our village, no politicians had so far visited us.
But I was surprised to see them at the haat. The atmosphere here is politically charged and everything seems different,’ said Rama Naik of Mandibisi, who attended the Kashipur weekly market in Rayagada district on Wednesday.