Even before the AICC could announce its poll slogan in its party headquarters in the capital, the CPI (M)'s heavyweight candidate Mohammad Salim has hijacked what is to be rightfully the Congress' principal poll campaign theme.
Much to the shock of the Congress leadership, the legendary Jai Ho slogan that became a household phrase after the film Slumdog Millionaire bagged several Oscars recently, has been used in a banner by the campaign managers of Mohammad Salim in the North Kolkata parliamentary seat.
Salim's campaigners have put up a big, white banner at Girish Park in North Kolkata, which has a picture of Salim and his party symbol (hammer and sickle) on its two sides and in the middle is the popular phrase Jai Ho. Below it is the name of Salim and his parliamentary constituency North Kolkata.
This has shocked the Congress. Because the Congress for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections would use the Jai Ho song composed by the Oscar-winning music composer AR Rahman from its advertising agency that is coordinating the election campaign of the Congress in the country.
"Our advertising agency Percept has brought the right of the Jai Ho song and we will use it in our election campaign," Congress Working Committee member Digvijay Singh told the Hindustan Times.
Sources in the Percept said that they have brought the song Jai Ho in its entirety from the T-series for the Congress and the number and its lyrics would be used in different forms in electronic and print media by the Congress' poll managers.
The State Congress leadership, which has also been informed by the AICC high command that the Jai Ho song would be a theme of their election campaign, is shocked to see Salim's banner with the Jai Ho slogan.
"This is absolutely shocking. This is in the words of the Marxists a complete deviation from the party line. We are accustomed to the CPI (M) slogan Inquilab Zindabad and not Jai Ho," said PCC working-president Pradip Bhattacharya.
He said the Jai Ho slogan goes with the Congress culture. Ever since its inception, the Congress has been using the words like Bande Mataram and Jai Ho.
"And in the Congress, it became an accepted norm after Rabindranath Tagore wrote the national anthem .In the anthem, we use the phrase Jai Ho at the end," explained Pradip Bhattacharya.
State Congress leaders said the popular Jai Ho number from the film Slumdog Millionaire would be played in the public meetings, election rallies and in the party office during the election phase. The phrase "Jai Ho" will be also seen in the colourful Congress banners, festoons and hoardings during the polls.
Moreover, SMS saying Jai Ho will be sent to the prospective voters during the election campaign by the Congress managers. Now it is to be seen once the Congress announces its Jai Ho campaign will Salim bring down the banner?