Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Swabhimani Paksha leader Raju Shetti have already faced a volley of questions and now it’s the turn of NCP leader Supriya Sule to do the same at the Lokmanch platform of Bharatiya Digital Party, or BhaDiPa, a non-political Marathi YouTube channel.
The YouTube channel was among the 87 recipients of a Google News Initiative innovation fund, which aims to help newsrooms and publishers strengthen their online video capabilities across the world. BhaDiPa aims to give a platform to the state’s youngsters and bring back the ‘cool’ quotient in regional language entertainment.
Fadnavis and Shetti addressed the platform and faced a rapid fire round of questions, and also received a ‘hamper’ — a ballot box of chits seeking solutions to various problems — on February 2 and 14 at Nagpur and Kolhapur, respectively. Sule will now face the questions, selected after a survey, on February 23.
Actor, director and-co founder of BhaDiPa, Sarang Sathaye, told The Indian Express that before the interaction with a politician, the channel’s research team carries out a survey across the state to prepare a list of questions that most people – especially youngsters — want to ask the political leaders.
“We are selecting policy-based questions… people send in their votes for the question they want to ask the leader,” said Sathaye. “With the Lok Sabha election round the corner, we have drawn up a list of political leaders whose views people want to know. After Sule, it will be the turn of both Uddhav and Raj Thackeray,” he added.
“For the interaction with Fadnavis, we got nearly 1,000 responses and had to shortlist just 15 questions. These ranged from whether loan waivers were a solution to farmers’ woes to when he would get the right to decide the rate for agri-produce. Hard-hitting questions on unemployment in Vidarbha and why a person with a criminal background was given a party ticket to contest the elections were also posed to the CM, who took the forum to expand on the policy decisions of his party,” he added.
“… At the interaction with Shetti, he explained why he took up farming and also tackled queries on the nastiest rumour that was spread about him. ‘Ha, it was about me owning acres and acres of land,’ Shetti replied during a rapid fire round. At the Lokmanch platform, the leader of Swabhimani Paksha also explained to youngsters why it was necessary to create a “pressure group” of farmers as there was a need to elect MPs who can represent farmers’ grievances,” said Sathaye.
“We have a separate team for vishay khol (taking a closer look at the subject)… doing the research, conversing with people across the state and collating the questions. For instance, for the Supriya Sule segment, the questions being shortlisted include how people with serious criminal records get tickets to contest from the party, queries about irresponsible statements allegedly made by NCP leaders and why the party didn’t come up with a sustainable agriculture policy when it was in power,” he said.
“For the interaction with Shetti, we collected 650 responses and shortlisted 10 questions. The session slated with Sule on Saturday is still drawing responses online for the questions that people want to ask,” Sathaye said, adding that given the considerable number of young voters, there was a demand to understand policy issues and each party’s take on them.