During the last Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, former chief minister and DMK president M Karunanidhi sought votes from a wheelchair that was raised into his “hi-tech” campaign vehicle with a special lift imported from Germany. Not to be left behind, his arch rival and state CM J Jayalalithaa campaigned from a Tempo Traveller equipped with a small dressing room and a chemical toilet. Up north, Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav made the right “connect” with his voters from a luxury caravan during the state polls in early 2012.
Specialised election campaign vehicles, also variously called mobile homes or caravans depending on their functionality and use, are once again in focus, as politicians gear up to woo voters in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections due by May.
Ensuring that party members travelling across cities and villages campaign in safety and comfort, companies like JCBL, Paracoat Products (PCP), DC Design and Prakash Body Construction Company have already lined up a number of their office-cum-home vehicles. The vehicles can easily be converted into comfortable homes, where political stalwarts can eat, relax and work on their next “moves” after a day of vigorous election campaign.
PCP Terra, the office-cum-home vehicle designed by Kolkata-based Paracoat Products, has a price tag of R37 lakh and is ideal for up to six people on the move. The multi-purpose vehicle is loaded with features such as a reverse camera, airconditioning and heating, refrigerator, microwave, wash room, shower, shelves and drawers for clothing and utensils, stereo, a multimedia system with a television, radio, and a DVD player. It also has a meeting area that can be converted into a bedroom for five people.
“We wanted to come up with a vehicle that is readily available. It has been built keeping in mind the upcoming elections and the varied Indian conditions and requirements of our customers,” says Rajesh Poddar, director of business development, Paracoat Products.
Considering the special ‘demands’ from politicians during their election campaigns, the company has added facilities such as an LCD screen, folding tables, a generator and a sound system in the vehicle. The PCP Terra has been based on the Mahindra Genio pick-up truck and will be available in only one variant for now.
Poddar says, “While campaigning, politicians need facilities like a meeting place where they can discuss various issues, besides proper toilets and spaces to rest, etc.” Although Poddar is unable to