In a hotly contested election, political parties are doing everything they can to wrest the first mover advantage.
Starting Tuesday, the Congress-led Opposition alliance has decided to push sharp attacks against the ruling BJP-led combine as it scrambles for an upset result in Maharashtra.
Kicking off its media and publicity campaign for the ensuing polls, the Opposition alliance will release a series of television commercials and print advertisements aimed at showing the ruling combine in unflattering light.
Centred around a common tagline — ‘Laj Kasha Vatat Naahin (How are you not ashamed?)’ – the Congress’s media campaign opener will target the “failure” of the government in tackling the “agrarian distress, unemployment, women security, social security, closure of public schools”. Click here for more election news
A senior Congress office-bearer said that a TV commercial has also been designed to “showcase how the sitting government was impeding free speech and muzzling voices of dissent”.
Maharashtra Congress’s general secretary Abhijeet Sapkal, who has spearheaded the designing of the media campaign, confirmed that the outdoor hoarding campaign and the radio campaign would also use the same slogan.
Sapkal also informed that a Hindi version of the same campaign — titled ‘Sharm Kaise Naahin Aati’ — had also been designed. Meanwhile, just as the official campaign launch is expected later today, hoardings erected in Nagpur on Monday for the first phase of the polls provided glimpses of the negative campaign.
Leading the way in the attack on ads for the Congress will be farmer suicides and the agrarian distress issues, Sapkal confirmed.
“There is a lot of unrest against the government especially in rural belts. We cannot insulate ourselves from the reality. The popular sentiment (among voters) is negative.”
“The stakes this time are high, particularly in Maharashtra, where the BJP combine had won 42 of the 48 seats last time. As far as the media campaign goes, it is important to go up earlier and try to define them (the opponent) before they build on the momentum. We’ve decided to leave subtlety behind and just go full force,” a senior Congress leader said.
As the elections draw nearer, the Congress also has plans to push positive messages pushing for a “change” and promoting “Rahul Gandhi’s leadership”.
Maharashtra Congress’s in-house media team came up with the campaign plan, which was later adopted by the NCP. “We are contesting elections unitedly. So it makes sense to devise a common media campaign as well,” said NCP’s chief spokesman Nawab Malik.
Senior leaders from both parties, however, said that both the parties will have independent campaigns at the national level.