Cartoon shorts, comic strips to help BJP reach out to Mumbai voters on Facebook, Twitter
Taking a cue from iconic Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s mascot, Leo (the roaring lion that preceded several cartoons and films) and replacing it with a tiger, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has released its own ‘Khau Sena’ cartoon shorts for the upcoming Mumbai civic polls.mumbai Updated: Feb 16, 2017 10:16 IST
Taking a cue from iconic Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s mascot, Leo (the roaring lion that preceded several cartoons and films) and replacing it with a tiger, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has released its own ‘Khau Sena’ cartoon shorts for the upcoming Mumbai civic polls.
The ‘Khau Sena’ (corrupt Sena) series that takes a dig at friend-turned-foe Shiv Sena’s alleged corruption in the Mumbai civic body, is a part of the party’s online arsenal for these elections.
The series launched unofficially by BJP workers (read the party) features senior and junior tiger, indicating without naming Uddhav and Aditya Thackeray and takes on Sena’s mismanagement and corruption in BMC. All these video clips make fun of the Sena’s mascot, ‘tiger’, who is shown taking bribes, filling potholes, conniving with corrupt engineers, losing money post demonetisation and taking ‘hafta’ (extortion). This is just one among the several social media series, currently released by the BJP on its many poll-related Twitter handles, Facebook pages, You tube, and WhatsApp groups. Some of the other official and not-below-the –belt series include a series titled ‘Ata Parivartan Honarch’ (Change is now Inevitable), ‘Our CM, our hero’, ‘Chanakya talks’.
“Our campaigns focus on chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, development and the massive corruption in the BMC. In one of the series, on change, we have tried to bring to the fore concerns and the helplessness of common citizens over the state of Mumbai. Our themes range from desilting to bad roads and poor services. The idea is to connect with citizens, especially the youth and conve our message to them,’’ said a member of the BJP’s in-house social media cell, which has designed all of these series.
The ‘Our CM, our hero’ series, which is still relatively new is in the form of comic strips that takes ‘inspiration’ from Fadnavis’ performance. So, ‘Operation Jaldoot’ of this series, talks of how Fadnavis got water to Latur via a train with the inspiration clearly from the ‘Bal Narendra’ strip that tells childhood stories of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The series also has sound bites from residents, who talk about the BJP’s governance.
The Chanakya series features actor Manoj Joshi, who also acted in the TV serial on Chanakya, talking about the Fadnavis government’s transparency agenda.
So, even as a high-decibel campaign is played out in rallies every day, the BJP has also taken the battle to the virtual world. And, while the verdict is still out on how it will win the battle for Mumbai, the social media round seems to have to gone to the BJP.
The opposition parties, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) seem to be struggling with their social media campaigns. And, the Sena, which had initially taken the lead on social media campaigning is now largely focusing on mainstream campaigns, billboards and attacking the BJP’s online campaigns with its support base on social media.
With reach of mobile phones in Maharashtra highest in the country (92,761 cell phones per 1 lakh people and 4.30 crore people with an internet subscription), virtual campaigns are expected to gain as much if not more traction as mainstream media, at least with youngsters in the state.
That’s also why the party’s social media cell is reaching out to all of its nearly 2,000 candidates contesting the upcoming civic polls, including in ten big cities and 25 district councils that will also go to polls next week.
“We are offering social media assistance to all our candidates, so this includes ready-to-use templates of posters, campaign material that can be tweaked with their photographs in their constituencies, besides video clips. We are also sending out CM’s direct video messages to them if they have not be able to reach out to him,’’ said another senior BJP functionary, working with the cell.