Life-sized cutouts of party leaders commemorating their birthdays and banners to welcome national leaders to the state will soon be downsized to 140-word characters on twitter, videos on youtube or wall posts on facebook.
Last week, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), reacting to the directive issued by Bombay high court decided to ban all political banners, posters and boards in the city. Moreover, it has decided to slap fines and issues notices to offenders.
On Sunday, there were hardly any banners visible on the streets of Mumbai, despite it being chief minister Prithviraj Chavan’s birthday.
Political parties across the state are now taking the online route to reach out to party workers and locals. “We have introduced a video conferencing facilities in all the districts across the state,” said Sachin Sawant, spokesperson, Maharashtra state congress, which is gearing up to create an IT cell to tackle the absence of posters, banners and boards. “We are also renovating the website to make it it more interactive to connect to the ward levels,” he added.
“I believe that pamphlets are more effective than erecting banners and boards,” said independent corporator Jyoti Alavani, who will be creating events on facebook communities instead of sticking posters on walls. “I am regularly on Facebook and will send invitations for programmes and events through it,” said Alavani.
Others have decided to take the traditional door-to-door route to reach out to their supporters. “We have a huge volunteer base spread across the city. Thus, we will follow the door-to-door approach in order to reach out to party supporters and keep them updated about events and social messages,” said Yashodhar Phanse, Shiv Sena leader in BMC.
Text messages and handbills are other tools being considered. “We will use text messages and handbills, and appeal to our workers to abstain from pasting any posters,” said Rais Shaikh, group leader, Samajwadi Party.