A campaign vehicle, ready to hit the road, is parked at a showroom in Ranigunj on Wednesday
A campaign vehicle, ready to hit the road, is parked at a showroom in Ranigunj on Wednesday

Hyderabad: As the state is gearing up to face early elections, politicians from different parties are worked up to the limit in preparations for the polls. With elections around the corner, leaders are busy scurrying to order the best campaign vehicles and are making a beeline to car manufacturers to order customised vehicles. 

A party worker was seen giving specifications at manufacturing units on Wednesday in Ranigunj. A campaign manager said that the poll vehicles are given a complete makeover starting with a fresh coat of paint, sun roofs, hydraulic platforms, LED lights, platform to stand and address people. One thing that all political parties insist is that the cars be fitted with a public address system that is used for speeches and facility to play party songs.

The first lot of 10 Bolero Camper Gold, five-seater air-conditioned vehicles are ready to hit the roads.  Narayan, assistant vice president, Automotive Manufacturers private limited (AMPL) said, “We sold 200 vehicles in the last elections in 2014 and are expecting to sell 150 vehicles this year.” 

Leaders of the TRS, the Congress and the BJP have already placed orders for vehicles with specifications. Mohammed Younus, who specialises in pasting stickers on vehicles said, “We got busy as orders have started pouring in and we are getting several phone calls. Many leaders want us to remove the stickers and have new ones.” 

The cars have a sound system with six speakers, cordless colour mike for candidates along with a hand mike. Khader, who specialises in upholstery works said, “Politicians insist on matching seat covers to the car body.”  Customisation costs anywhere between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 4.5 lakh depending on the number of specifications. According to people in the know of things at AMPL, four cars by the TRS have been booked in the last week and the number is expected to increase in the next few days.

Naveen, an accessories manager at a manufacturing unit, said that the potential this time is 119 cars, we are not sure how many seats the BJP is contesting and once there is some clarity, we would be able to order for cars that need to be brought to the city from Pune.

The city is soon going to see a number of coloured vehicles with party symbols and pictures of leaders on the vehicles. In certain parts of the Old City, people who specialise in modifying vehicles are in great demand. Mahmood, an old hand at giving jeeps a new look said, “In the 70s and 80s it was the rich in the city who used to come to us to modify jeeps but in the last decade, it is politicians.” Mahindra Bolero Camper and Scorpia Getaway are the most sought after vehicles for campaigns.

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