Amid the restrictions put by the Election Commission of India (ECI) on rallies and public meetings, political parties have launched a musical war against each other with catchy songs to woo voters in Uttar Pradesh.
As the ECI has banned physical rallies and road shows till January 31, with some relaxation for the first and second phase of polling, political parties and their supporters are taking to social media to drive their point and woo the voters through video songs laced with political messages.
Political parties believe that amid the restrictions songs in local dialect and language are the best ways to reach out to people through various social platforms. Along with professionals and those associated with political parties, some singers are making campaign song videos voluntarily without charging a single penny.
Haryanvi singer Binder Danoda has made a video appealing to voters to vote for BJP and Yogi Adityanath to protect ‘Sanatan Dharam’. Danoda told IANS that he has not charged a single penny from the BJP.
“I am inspired by the work of Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh in the last five years like improved law and order, no riots and better health and education facilities. I decided to make a video appealing to voters to once again elect Baba (Adityanath) for chief minister,” Danoda said.
Political parties are releasing campaign songs to put forward their agenda, policies and ideologies. In this musical war of Uttar Pradesh BJP has taken the lead and far ahead of other parties followed by the Samajwadi Party (SP). The Congress and Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) are far behind in this musical battle to reach out the voters.
While the ruling BJP has released around a dozen songs and likely to release more in the coming days. The SP has also launched a few songs for the campaign followed by Congress and BSP. Both the BJP and SP have released in the various dialects spoken in the state.
The BJP campaign is led by party in house celebrities, Lok Sabha members Manoj Tiwari and Ravi Kishan, and Dinesh Lal Yadav ‘Nirahua’. Second term MP, Tiwari has released one song and will release a few more in coming weeks. Gorakhpur MP Kishan has released one rap song and Bhojpuri star Nirahua, who unsuccessfully contested the 2019 general elections, has also released two songs. Nirahua aggressively declares ‘Yogi will return to power in 2022 and once again in 2027’.
The BJP’s songs mention its core ideology ‘Hindutva pride’ and the ‘development’ done in the state under the double engine government of Narendra Modi and Adityanath. The BJP’s songs also appeal to the voters to remember ‘corruption’ and ‘mafia rule’ in the previous governments.
The main opposition SP’s songs highlight failure of the BJP government, Covid mismanagement and achievements of the Akhilesh Yadav government during 2012-17 with an appeal to dislodge the ruling government.
Tiwari’s song ‘mandir banne laga hai, bhagwa rang chadne laga hai’ (construction of temple has started, saffron is on the rise) or Danoda’s song ‘Jaat- Paat ka Jhagra komjor banayega, vote Yogi Baba ko dena Sanatan jeet jayega (fighting for caste will weaken, vote for Yogi Baba so that Sanatan will win) clearly speak about the BJP’s Hindutva agenda. BJP’s campaign song also talks about Mathura along with Ayodhya and Kashi.
When asked about it, Tiwari told IANS that the BJP always talks about cultural nationalism and development and the songs highlight the same. “BJP focuses on cultural nationalism, infrastructural development and social welfare. Through songs we are telling people about steps taken to protect cultural nationalism and infrastructural development across Uttar Pradesh and the rest of state,” Tiwari said.
Danoda blamed others for bringing religion into politics. “Opposition parties brought religion in politics to appease a particular section of society. I am just appealing to people to save ‘Sanatan Dharma’ by voting for Yogi baba,” Danoda added.
Bhojpuri singer Neha Singh Rathore has created a political storm with her number “UP Mein Ka Ba? (What is there in UP?)” in an apparent response to BJP MP Kishan’s song “UP Mein Sab Ba” (UP has everything).