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Rent a crowd business picks up
While winning the election is a challenge for leaders, the polls are a means of livelihood for many daily wage labourers, at least for a few days. With just a couple of days left for Khammam and Warangal municipal elections to be held on March 6, the demand for people available on rent has picked up with the parties.
Warangal/Khammam: While winning the election is a challenge for leaders, the polls are a means of livelihood for many daily wage labourers, at least for a few days. With just a couple of days left for Khammam and Warangal municipal elections to be held on March 6, the demand for people available on rent has picked up with the parties.
Two elections–Lok Sabha by-poll and the ensuing municipal elections-in last three months have been a blessing in disguise for the labourers in Warangal. Thanks to the candidates who employ these labourers to feign that they have the backing of the people.In all, the daily wage labourers are the integral part of the pomp at the nomination ceremonies, road shows, rallies and door-to-door campaigns.
The fact is that all the district-level and second ring leaders use the rented crowd to bolster their image before the party leadership. About a decade ago, it was only middle-aged and those sitting idle at home who used to be brought to rallies and meetings.
They were given anywhere between Rs 50 and Rs 100, lime rice packets as ‘appearance fee’ besides transportation arranged for them. Now it has gone up to around Rs 500 a day per head in addition to food and liquor. Manemma, a housemaid of Bheemaram under Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC) area, took it as a part-time employment for the last few days.
She said: “All that I have to do is to stand in the crowd wherever the contestant goes. I worked for both, TRS and TDP, and was paid Rs 500.” The demand for rent-a-crowd is much more in Khammam than Warangal. The city has been abuzz with rallies and road shows for the last few days with top leaders like Deputy Chief Minister Md. Mahmood Ali, Tummala Nageswara Rao, Congress Deputy Floor Leader in the Council Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy, Gadwal Congress MLA DK Aruna, local MLA Puvvada Ajay Kumar and BJP’s NVSS Prabhakar hitting the roads.