Madhya Pradesh polls: BJP ropes in magicians, jugglers to boost campaign

Illustration by Binay Sinha
How to cast a spell on voters

The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) is known for the extensive use of new technology and social tools in its election campaigns. But in Madhya Pradesh, it seems to be relying on the traditional methods of entertainment and publicity to spread its message across. The party has roped in magicians, jugglers and puppeteers to reach out to the masses. Some party leaders even got together at the state headquarters earlier this week to review and shortlist possible candidates to do the job. Even during the Assembly elections of 2013, the party had used local artistes to showcase its development work and welfare schemes.

Another poster war

Bihar's pre-poll poster wars are the stuff of legends. Some posters emerged earlier this week showing Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav as Lord Rama and Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar as the 10-headed demon Ravana. The posters, put up near Tejashwi's official residence on Circular Road, were slammed by the ruling JD(U) and even by the Congress, a leading constituent of the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar. The Lalu Prasad-led party later clarified that the posters were not aimed to demean the chief minister but to highlight the failings of his government.

Shivpal’s growing clout

On Wednesday, Samajwadi Secular Morcha chief and Akhilesh Yadav's uncle Shivpal Yadav moved into the bungalow vacated by former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati. He reached the bungalow with his supporters and entered it after performing a ashtami. The move did not go unnoticed by opposition members and various theories started circulating. Adding grist to the rumour mill, cabinet minister Om Prakash Rajbhar said the allotment of Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati's bungalow and the provision of Z-plus security to Yadav showed that “he had started working for the Bharatiya Janata Party”. Yadav downplayed the episode saying, he had been allotted the bungalow “as there were intelligence reports of threats” to him. He went on to say he was open to joining hands with the opposition parties against the Yogi Adityanath government.

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