Snappy hashtags, peppy tunes and quick repartee, political parties have taken their campaign to the virtual world with great aplomb as five states go to elections next month under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wordsmiths and artists of different parties are working overtime to deliver punches and counter punches in their bid to reach out to voters through different platforms ranging from Facebook to YouTube.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unveiled its campaign song for Uttar Pradesh based on the popular Sri Lankan number ‘Manike Mage Hithe’ rendered by Yohani De’Silva. ‘Sabki mann ki yeh bhasha, yahan do-do hain aasha, yahi Modi, Yahi Yogi, upyogi, sahyogi’ (This is in everyone’s heart, there are two hopes – Modi and Yogi – and they are useful and cooperative) goes the BJP campaign song that highlights the “riot free” five years, improved power supply, and construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya under the Yogi Adityanath government in the state.
The song was shared by BJP and its leaders on their social media accounts last week.’Aayegi phirse BJP’, is the catchline of the song that features snippets of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the chief minister.The Samajwadi Party has different songs, including one in the Awadhi dialect, ‘Khadeda Hoibe’ (will chase away) that talks of driving off BJP from power in the state.
In Goa, the Trinamool Congress launched its campaign song in Konkani — ‘Ailo don fulancho kaal, Goenchi Navi Sakal’ (the era of two flowers is here, it’s a new dawn for Goa) — in its bid to connect with the electorate.The two flowers in the song refer to the Trinamool symbol. In Punjab, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) hit out at Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, who has been announcing election sops since assuming office, by portraying him as ‘ailaan mantri’ (announcement minister) in a comic strip.
The Punjab Congress hit back with its own comic strip describing AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as ‘vigyapan bhai’ (advertisement man) with a repartee that “raising empty slogans was the work of Kejriwal, not Channi”.Meanwhile, the Punjab Lok Congress, launched by former chief minister Amarinder Singh, celebrated the allocation of ‘hockey stick and ball’ as party symbol for the elections with a hashtag #bas_hun_goal_krna_baki (now only scoring goals remains).
In Uttarakhand, Congress appears to have hit the BJP hard with a video on one rank, one pension (OROP) featuring kids in military fatigues claiming that ex-servicemen were yet to receive the full benefits of the pension scheme.The video is based on an advertisement of a popular online shopping portal.
“The entire country knows who deprived the soldiers of OROP and who ensured that they got their due. Come let us see the country’s most untruthful party’s lies being exposed by the soldiers themselves,” the Uttarakhand BJP said.It also posted a video featuring ex-servicemen thanking Modi for implementing OROP. Implementation of OROP was one of the key issues that ensured a landslide victory for the BJP in the 2017 assembly elections in Uttarakhand.