Well before the actual battle of ballots in the ensuing Haryana assembly elections, a war for airwaves has started among the political parties in the state.
The publicity blitzkrieg launched by both Congress and the Opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) is ensuring no household is left untouched before the first ballot is cast.
The Congress has moulded its campaign around Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, whose development plank is being pushed through the medium of 57 rustic but catchy jingles being aired on major national and some regional TV news channels.
A typical line: “Mhara CM saab Bhupinder Hooda dil pe chhaya hai, Hooda ne badha di pension, budhon ki ghata di tension.”
The sign-off for all jingles is the same: “Aisa pehli baar hua hai, Number 1 Haryana.”
According to an official, who did not want to be identified, the campaign on TV would cost the government Rs 10-11 crore, depending on the number of days the jingles are aired before the code of conduct comes into force.
The campaign envisages airing of jingles at the rate of about 300 slots per day on national channels and about 600 slots on regional channels, sources said. The frequency on regional channels is higher in view of the lower airtime rates and prime-time priorities.
The government is also using All India Radio and FM services from stations in Chandigarh, New Delhi and Patiala to air jingles at costs much lower than TV. Print media — both magazines and dailies — too is being flooded with ads and advertorials. The budget for print, though, is smaller, at Rs 1-2 crore.
The INLD is trying to match the Congress blitz. The party has roped in some big names from Bollywood like singers Kailash Kher and Sukhwinder Singh and music director-lyricist-singer Anand Raj Anand to make TV and radio jingles.