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Making music to woo voters

Poll graffiti may be out but parties have come up with new ways to grab votes, reports Arindam Sarkar.

india Updated: Mar 29, 2006 21:46 IST

For people in love with the burst of colours and drama that are Indian elections, the poll panel's ban on graffiti in Bengal — full of naughty asides to jaded political battles — was somewhat of a spoiler.

But parties have come up with new ways to grab votes and eye-balls — and they are definitely not short on pizzazz.

The Congress, for example, has gone back to the ancient Bengal art of kobi gaan (improvised battles in verse put to music) for its campaigns — and you thought there was nothing poetic about Machiavels fighting petty political battles.

The verse will only add sting to the potshots at the Left government. A leading Bollywood lyricist has composed the songs. No wonder, Congress workers expect a lot of fun on campaign trail.

Salute to history done, the party will plug in to the modern me dia. Thus, SMSes asking for votes are sure to flood mobile phones. The Congress website will be regularly updated.

State chief Pranab Mukherjee will release an audiocassette containing the party's message to the voters. Street skits to spread the word and advertisements in newspapers are also on the agenda.

"We will also release two videos of 25 minute duration," said Sukhendu Roy, in-charge of publicity for the Congress. The videos will be aired on television channels and cable TV.

The CPM is also banking on street theatre, pamphlets, audiocassette, videos and CDs highlighting the Left Front's achievements.

As for the Trinamool, it has come up with caps, and T-Shirts carrying feisty leader Mamata Banerjee's photograph as well as CDs and cassettes of her rants against the Left - nothing better to spice up the campaign.

But for all its innovation, the Congress missed out on one radical idea. An ingenuous worker has come up with the idea of using a popular Bangla Band to campaign for them.

The conservatives shot it down.

Now, that would have been called the Left facing the music.