About 100 party faithful gathered around Ms. Misra as she was garlanded with marigolds and carnations. With a great cheer, the volunteers stuffed into the autos and piled onto motorcycles. But Ms. Misra's auto, modified so she could stand, would not start. Volunteers rushed into the lane, cleared away a clot of rickshaws, motorcycles and cattle, and pushed it until it started.
More honking and shouting ensued as the assembly made a U-turn to drive onto a wider lane. But 50 yards away, the whole procession stopped. Ms. Misra's loudspeaker did not work, and a campaign aide was sent to retrieve a new microphone.
After 40 minutes, Ms. Misra had had enough.
"I want to start," she told her chief aide. "It's going to get too hot."
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So Ms. Misra got into her auto again and folded her hands, mute. The local party director with the only working microphone shouted: "Down with corruption! Come out, we're with you!"
The procession passed sari shops, jewelry stores, and pushcart vendors with popcorn, pomegranates and peanuts. It moved through a Muslim neighborhood where men wore white skullcaps and women black veils, and a Hindu neighborhood where a sinewy man wearing nothing but an orange cloth and a placid expression washed his feet at a hand pump.
That night, Ms. Misra and several party workers piled into an S.U.V. and drove over potholed dirt roads to Qusbati Tola, a crowded Muslim slum. Ms. Misra was tense. She said that she had been repeatedly threatened by thugs allied with the Samajwadi Party, a powerful presence in Muslim areas. Assassinations, beatings and other forms of political violence are common in India.
She walked from the vehicle through narrow alleys past brick homes, the acrid smell and pall of smoke from kitchens burning dung for fuel hanging in the air. She was soon surrounded by a dozen men and twice that many children, and when the area's power cut out, her followers took out small flashlights to show the way. Once she reached a central area, she settled on a blanket in a small courtyard, and she and two party workers gave speeches to an all-male crowd of about 40.
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A dozen or more women stood listening in the doorways of homes near the courtyard, and at the end of the meeting, Ms. Misra got up and went to them. By then, the number of children had grown to at least 30, and Ms. Misra delighted them by teaching them a chant:
"Vote for!" Ms. Misra shouted as bats flew around her head, and the children shrieked, "Broom!"
The next morning, Ms. Misra walked across a field to a set of buildings with a sign over them announcing a religious order devoted to a Hindu goddess, Kamakhya. She put a scarf over her head and ducked into a courtyard with a low awning made of grass and bamboo. At one end of the courtyard sat Munnalal, the single-named, turbaned dwarf leader of the order.
"You'll get at least 75,000 votes from my area," he told Ms. Misra.
As Munnalal and Ms. Misra spoke, his waiting area — several benches set up near him — began to fill with followers. He beckoned a young woman and gave her one of Ms. Misra's pamphlets.
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"Tell your entire family to vote for the broom," Munnalal told the woman.
"O.K.," she said.
Ms. Misra knelt before him and asked for his blessing.
"I will give it, but you must do more canvassing and get up earlier in the morning," Munnalal said. Ms. Misra's aide, who had given the exact same advice, smiled ruefully.
"I will," Ms. Misra promised, and she bowed her head for the blessing.