(In pics) Election campaign: What is it with the bicycle?

Bangalore, Sept 20: With the free-bicycle scheme taking enormous shape in the states of West Bengal and Chhattisgarh (just before the elections), it has forced us to think "what is it with the bicycle" these days?

We have heard environmental specialists crying out loud about the advantages of using a bicycle and how important it is for conserving the environment. But, is it also being used to 'conserve' the vote banks these days? Perhaps yes.

For instance, the Mamata Banerjee government has targeted village school girls at Birudihai in Burdwan district of West Bengal on Thursday. Used as a sop for the emancipation of women, the move can be compared to her previous attempt to emancipate women from minority communities in Murshidabad where she had distributed bicycles to girls studying in classes VIII, IX and X in 2012. The latter had won her votes then, leading her to the top. This time too, the party expects to get the same response.

In a similar scheme by the Raman Singh government in Chhattisgarh, free cycles are likely to be distributed among cowboys taking cattles to the fields. Not only that, the bicycles would also reach the local police station (at a time of super-fast police jeeps and automatic guns?!).

We just hope that these state governments do not continue to distribute bicycles even when man would have reached Mars.

In Burdwan

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee distributing bicycles to village school girls during a function at Birudihai in Burdwan district of West Bengal on Thursday.

In Jalpaiguri

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee distributes bicycles to school students as part of a state-run scheme at a function at Tiyaban Maidan near Meteli in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal.

In Siliguri

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee hands over bicycles to school girls at 2nd Uttarbanga Utsav at Kanchenjunga Stadium in Siliguri.

In Nadia

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee presenting bicycles to the girls student during the inauguration of several project to develop Nadia district at Haringhata in Nadia district of West Bengal.

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