NewDelhi/Nagpur: As Bihar gets into election mode and politicians miss no chance in taking a pot shot at their rivals, several catchy and interesting slogans along with campaign themes are being conceived to lure the voters. The two main rivals – Janata Dal United-Rashtriya Janata Dal-Congress Mahagathbandhan and Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance – have moved into top gear in the last couple of months and campaigning has picked up across the state even though the Election Commission is yet to announce the dates.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s campaign team led by Prashant Kishor’s Indian People’s Action Committee (IPAC) plans to target its rivals by using BJP president Amit Shah’s “Chunavi Jumla” (empty election promises), which he used in February 2015 to describe promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 2014 Lok Sabha campaign.
While some radio jingles have been released, more will be launched and a website on “Jumla Babu” is also in the making.
Prashant Kishor’s IPAC is going out all guns blazing in creating a digital momentum and narrative for the election which is almost a do-or-die for the Bihar Chief Minister who faces a very formidable rival in NDA which had decimated his party during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
While promoting Nitish Kumar, his vision and his achievements of the last 10 years is the main focus, the team is creating a humorous attack narrative to target BJP’s chief campaigner Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be projected as “Jumla Babu”, as reported by IBNLive.
Nitish Kumar, who is Mahagathbandhan’s chief ministerial candidate, is using all technological tools available to take on the better equipped, well funded and much more techno savvy NDA in general and BJP in particular. The core campaign team is working at the JDU election war room at 7 Strand Road in Patna to launch a website sometime in the second week of September which will be heavy on video content.
With advances in technology, better internet connection, easy availability of mobile smartphones and a large percentage of voters in the 18-35 age groups, the campaign has taken a new turn. While election campaigns in Bihar are still largely focused on traditional modes with rallies, door-to-door canvassing, caste and community meetings, another battle is being fought with the help of technology.
The concept and character of “Jumla Babu” has been planned and created by IPAC’s digital team. With Modi’s being a great orator who connects with his audience very easily, Kishor’s team has been working hard to pick holes in BJP’s campaign and build the character of “Jumla Babu”, which was conceptualised after much deliberation.
One of the major campaign focuses of Nitish Kumar is to project the promises Modi made during the 2014 Lok Sabha campaign but which are yet to be fulfilled. Kishor’s team is taking on the BJP head on digitally by spinning around what it calls Modi’s knack for “flattery via oration” to his knack for making “false promises via oration”.
“Other names that were considered for the campaign were “Naya Din Naya Jumla”, “Aaj ka Jumla” and “Jumla Man” but the team finally decided to go with “Jumla Babu” after exploring all options with JDU’s political leadership as it had a rustic ring to it and could be easily identified in Bihar which is predominantly rural. One of the cues for the character came from Amit Shah’s interview where he called certain promises made during the Lok Sabha election campaign as “Chunavi Jumla”,” said a senior IPAC member who is working on the concept.
With BJP leadership and Modi targeting Nitish Kumar’s track record of 10 years as Bihar CM, the JDU campaign aims to highlight PM’s “unrealistic promises” and dilute the credibility as well as authority of his communication.
While the first phase of the digital campaign was launched on Twitter in first week of August during Modi’s Gaya rally, the campaign has been planned in five phases of which two are currently active and three will be rolled out in the coming weeks. Apart from Twitter trends, Whatsapp discussions & Facebook conversations, in addition to coming up with funky creative that take the message home, the campaign managers hope that it becomes a topic of discussion during everyday conversation amongst the Bihar voters.
Along with the digital campaign, nine radio jingles that attack PM for questioning Nitish Kumar’s DNA have also been launched. These eight radio jingles are “Jumla le lo!!”, “Bolne me kya jata hai”, “Aap kehte hai Bihar ke DNA me gadbad hai”, “Isi Bihar ka DNA lekar”, “Isi Bihar Ka DNA lekar”, “Bihari DNA”, “Isi Bihar ka DNA lekar…”, “#Jhansemenaayenge” and #JumlaBabu”.
Jumla le lo!!
“The campaign’s aim is to take Nitish Kumar’s message of debunking PM’s special Bihar package to the digitally aware voters. Under the “Jumla Babu” campaign the team will collate all promises of Modi ever made and question on the percentage of them implemented, or even initiated. While the campaign has been designed primarily for Bihar elections, but the plan it to take it pan India and to make “Jumla Babu” resonate with Modi,” the IPAC member added.
Even as hundreds of BJP’s hi-tech Parivartan raths and JDU’s Jan Bhagidari Manch raths crisscross the state raising a lot of dust and political heat, the high-voltage battle is also being fought on an entirely new platform whose success will only be judged once election results are out sometime in late November.