Two Delhis vs Corruption: Cong,BJP battle on streets

It is a war of words out on the roads this election season. Ahead of Sunday’s municipal polls,both the Congress and the BJP have dotted the city with huge promotional hoardings with contrasting themes.

Written by Priyanka Sharma | New Delhi | Published: April 13, 2012 1:37:43 am

It is a war of words out on the roads this election season. Ahead of Sunday’s municipal polls,both the Congress and the BJP have dotted the city with huge promotional hoardings with contrasting themes.

Congress hoardings narrate the tale of two Delhis — one that is under the state government’s purview and the other which the BJP-ruled MCD manages.

Their hoardings broadly highlight the MCD’s failure in providing civic amenities like roads,parks,hospitals and schools. One such hoarding contrasts an image of a developed road in Lutyens’ Delhi with a photo next to it of a broken road in a resettlement colony.

The tagline reads: “Shehar toh aage badha hain,mohalla wahin khada hain. MCD chunav mein Congress ko jeetayein,apne gali mohalle bhi behtar banaye.”

The BJP,on the other hand,has chosen to go to polls targeting the failures of the Congress at the national level. Corruption,price rise and women’s safety is on the agenda of these hoardings. One of its hoardings reads: “Kahin yuvati kahin laadli kare pukaar,kyun hota izzat pe hamla baar baar. Jagruk bano,BJP chuno.”

The Congress says they are focusing on improving civic amenities. “It is an election for the municipality. The campaign focuses clearly on improving civic amenities in the city. The campaign by the Congress is simple and positive. It has been devised at a micro-level. The images and conditions of two parts of Delhi are plainly put together. It does not impose anything on the electorate and allows them to decide,” said a Congress worker involved in the publicity campaign.

Although the Congress has hired two creative agencies for its outdoor advertising and publicity,the brain behind the party’s campaign is mainly Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit,he said.

This is the first time that Dikshit’s office is involved in devising the campaign for municipal polls in such a big way. “Usually,the campaign for civic polls is planned by the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee. But this time she has taken the onus upon herself. The two creative agencies had given several campaign ideas,but she reworked a lot of them,” a source said.

On the other hand,the BJP’s state office is the brain behind its poll campaign. The party’s national secretary,Vani Tripathi,is in-charge of the campaign,and is working with a team of 30 professionals from different creative agencies.

Tripathi said the BJP campaign focuses on corruption. “Eradication of corruption and better safety for women is what the city needs. If a government can’t assure citizens of such crucial aspects,how can it be trusted with micro-level issues?” she points out.

However,both parties seem to be largely targeting the youth and women through their hoardings. Both parties have booked publicity space at at least 15 crucial traffic junctions,such as ITO,Nehru Place and Greater Kailash.

According to sources in both parties,the BJP has put up at least 800 hoardings across the city,while the Congress has around 500 hoardings.

“Each hoarding is strategically put up at the best-suited location. A hoarding which speaks of pathetic condition of broken by-lanes is put in a ward which is dominated by slums and resettlement colonies. While another,which speaks of the poor state of dispensary,is displayed at a ward which has limited healthcare facilities,” said a Congress leader.

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