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After Delhi,more states to adopt Pappu parody,other poll initiatives

After coaxing Delhi to vote in the Assembly elections last November,Pappu is now set to travel to other parts.

After coaxing Delhi to vote in the Assembly elections last November,Pappu is now set to travel to other parts.

A parody of the popular Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na number,Pappu vote nahin deta,coined by the Delhi State Election Commission to get people to come out and vote,has struck a chord with the electoral officers of several states. Many of these states are now set to use the method to enthuse voters in the run-up to the general elections.

Besides the Pappu number,Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Satbir Silas Bedi says several other innovative measures implemented by her office before the Assembly elections have found favour with some of her counterparts in other states. Among these are the formation of a call centre,an SMS service for voters to answer all queries,and voter assistance booths.

“A conference of all chief electoral officers (from across India) was held here last December after the Assembly elections,and several CEOs asked me about the measures we had implemented in Delhi,” Bedi says. “Since then,there has been a constant exchange of information,particularly about our training material.”

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Bedi says her office has forwarded it to Maharashtra,West Bengal,Punjab and Uttar Pradesh,among other states.

But the measure that Bedi says has received most attention is the various parodies of the Pappu can’t dance saala song. Aimed at reaching out to 12 core voter groups,the youth and the upper-middle class,among others,the state election commission aired these parodies on FM radio,and issued advertisements in newspapers. The basic theme of the advertisements was that voting is “Delhi’s latest fashion statement”.

The lyrics were penned by Bedi herself — “I am a music lover” — and the entire exercise cost the Delhi State Election Commission a little more than Rs. 1.25 crore. The cost could be kept low since A R Rahman allowed the poll commission to use the song free of cost,Bedi says.

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“Several CEOs asked me about how we went about implementing that particular campaign,” she says. “I believe the Maharashtra election commission will unveil a similar campaign in the coming week.”

Bedi says though the Commission has issued come-out-and-vote advertisements earlier as well,last year’s campaign was a hit simply because it spoke the language most people identify with.

Another measure that has generated interest in poll panels of other states is the voter assistance booths,Bedi says. According to feedback received by the state election commission,many voters found this to be an extremely useful service,she adds.

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New campaign for Delhi
Bedi says the Delhi State Election Commission will launch another campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls,probably in a day or two. The parody this time is of the song Chance pe Dance maar le,through which voters are advised to enter the booth,show their photo ID card,press the button on the Electronic Voting Machine,wait for the beep and so forth.

First published on: 08-04-2009 at 01:32:34 am
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