Steamy item numbers are tolerable on screen, not if re-enacted by bar girls to entertain politicians in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh. The Election Commission has made this clear.
A political meet organized by Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) at Toda village in western UP’s Kairana Lok Sabha constituency last week turned into a sleaze fest with skimpily-dressed bar girls gyrating to Bollywood songs.
Returning officer Suresh Kumar Mishra subsequently served a notice, as the party had no permission to hold a cultural show disguised as folk dance. “DMs have been told not to allow obscenity in campaign. FIR will be lodged if anyone breaks the law,” said chief electoral officer Umesh Sinha.
Bar girls, jobless in Mumbai despite Supreme Court lifting a ban on dance bars, are a rage in western UP during Holi, more so if polls are near.
Varsha Kale, president of Mumbai-based Bhartiya Bar Girls’ Association, said: “The demand for these goes up during Holi and elections in UP, Bihar, Punjab and Rajasthan.” She did not say how bar girls are hired but revealed a group of 10 earns Rs 20,000-30,000 per show.
According to social scientist Badri Narain, UP has several dancing communities that perform folk. “Bar girls are brought for political events,” he said.
“These girls help hold the crowds, particularly in male-only events,” a show organiser said seeking anonymity. Party bosses often wash their hands off, blaming local leaders partly because local sex workers are also roped in for raunchy shows. But social activists do not buy this, claiming the events publicised as entertainment are organised openly.