Among other things, candidates of political parties contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha elections can also rise to the occasion and change the way they dress up if they are to reach out to a larger populace and attract them. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s poll candidate for the Alipurduar constituency John Barla has been seen in a ‘pagri’ (turban) since the day he filed his nomination papers. These days, he flaunts a deep saffron pagri, which he never wore on his head earlier.

On the other hand, Trinamool Congress candidate Dasrath Tirkey is these days seen with a piece of white towel hanging from his shoulder during election campaigning.

“I never wore such ‘pagri; on my head before. My supporters made me wear this on the day I went to submit my nomination papers at the Alipurduar district election commission office, and I decided to wear it all the time during my election campaigns. I am an adivasi by caste and a pagri can attract attention of the voters,” Mr Barla said.

Mr Tirkey too explained the white towel and said: “We hang a piece of cloth on our shoulders to welcome others. This is a tradition, which even our forefathers followed. I am using the towel just to follow this tradition so that voters may feel the respect I am showing to them.”

“The white towel is very much useful during the hot weather too,” he added.

Voters, meanwhile, seem to be impressed by the candidates’ new style. “A piece of cloth on the shoulders to welcome someone and have blessings from others is surely our own tradition in Bengal. Pagri on head is also a tradition in south India as far as I know, but it is new here, of course. Sometimes, we should take the new styles too. We wish the candidates all success,” said a voter in Alipurduar, Ashim Das.