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|February 13, 1998||
Where coconut trees are the mainstay of poll campaigns
The swaying coconut trees in Bitra, a small Lakshadweep island, while presenting an idyllic picture of a tourist haven also serve as ready-made bill boards for election posters.
Bitra is the smallest and prettiest island in Lakshadweep, located off the Kerala coast in Arabian sea. The coconut trees are at present festooned with colourful posters and banners fluttering in the breeze.
The island has only 160 voters who have to choose between P M Sayeed of the Congress, contesting for his ninth successive Lok Sabha term, and the Janata Dal's K K Mohammad Koya.
Lakshadweep, a Union territory, goes to poll on Monday, February 16.
The 250-odd locals expressed themselves quite content with the state of the matters there. Had not, they ask, the administration provided them with facilities including telephones, primary health care, a school and even a solar power generation plant?
"We never keep track of what's happening outside," they chorus.
But then, why should they? Far removed from the 'civilised' world, they have everything they want -- the sun, the sea and, yes, the swaying coconut trees!
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