Electronic and social media may have somewhat changed the poll campaign mode but when it comes to capturing people’s attention, parties in UP are trying to outdo each other with catchy slogans like ‘Akhilesh ka jalwa kayam hai, uska baap Mulayam hai’, ‘betion ko muskurane do, behenji ko aaney do’ and ‘abki baar 300 ke paar’.
What might have begun in years gone by as a simple method of wooing the electorate is today an experts’ job with political parties engaging hands good at words for not just giving a catchy message but also poking fun at opponents. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi went ahead with coining ‘arhar Modi’ in a spin off ‘har har Modi-ghar ghar Modi’ and ‘suit boot ki sarkar’, to target inflation and “elitist” BJP government at the Centre.
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Post demonetisation, Congress has come up with new slogans “gareebon se kheecho, ameeron ko seechon” as also an earlier one “karza maaf, bijli bill half and MSP ka karo hisaab” in the state where they had been out of power for long, and thus “27 saal, UP behaal”.
BJP is still seen banking on ‘Modi face’ in UP where it has not projected anyone as its chief ministerial candidate to highlight the need to bring about a change in the state where they had been waiting for power for the past 14 years.
They have modified the 2014 slogan “abki baar Modi sarkar”to “abki baar 300 ke paar” for absolute majority to “saath ayen, parivartan layen, kamal khilayen”, “jan jan ka sankalp, parivartan ek vikalp” to “do batein kabhi na bhool -Narendra Modi aur kamal ka phool”.
The party whose leaders have been urging the electorate to give it absolute majority in the 403-member House to ensure that it can work without any pulls and pressures has coined a slongan “na ekai, na dehai, poora do-tihai” and “gali gali macha hai shor, janata chali bhajapa ki ore”.
This time round, BSP too has some interesting slogans lined up which are more development-oriented rather than on caste and communal lines.
The party, which had earned notoriety for slogans like “tilak taraju aur talvar, inko maro jute char” and “hathi nahi ganesh hai brahma vishnu mahesh hai” and “chadh goondo ki chati par, mohar lagegi hathi par”, has this time come up with “betion ko muskurane do, behenji ko aaney do” and “gaon gaon ko shaher bananey do, Behenji ko aane do” promising good law and order and development.
The party, which will use social media in a big way despite its president Mayawati’s past assertions that her vote base does not go by media blitzkrieg, has appeals in “dar sey nahi haq sey vote do, baemano ko chot do” and “kamal, cycle, panja hoga kinare, UP chalega hathi ke saharey”.
Ruling SP, which faced bouts of internal fighting, has the most interesting poll campaign planned around its chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s persona.
With the Election Commission nod and bulk of party cadre lending him all out support against his father and party patriach Mulayam Singh Yadav, the electioneering is centred on “vikas ka pahiya, Akhilesh bhaiya’ and ‘sab bolo dil sey, Akhilesh bhaiya phir sey’.
The audio video material on “kaam bolta hai” is already popular among the people and there has also been a concerted move to project his wife Dimple Yadav in the forefront in short films of Akhilesh as family man alongwith kids.
Perhaps it is the sign of things to come with the party cadres taking to “jeet ki chabhi, Dimple bhabhi” at the same time taking care not to ruffle feathers with ‘Akhilesh ka jalwa kayam hai, uska baap Mulayam hai’ which is a modified version of earlier ‘jiska jalwa kayam hai, uska naam Mulayam hai’.
Akhilesh’s 2012 campaigning around ‘vikas ka pahiya’ has this time manifested into “no confusion no mistake, sirf Akhilesh sirf Akhilesh” and “UP ki majboori hai, Akhilesh Yadav zaroori hai”.