Samajwadi Party launches ‘Bicycle TV’ to expand reach
The Samajwadi Party has launched ‘BicycleTV’ to extend its electronic reach to the public amid a challenging coronavirus pandemic. The move is in step with the increasing culture among political parties to adopt remote audio-visual means to inform and influence people. Bicycle is the election symbol of the SP.
The SP soft-launched the Bicycle TV (on YouTube) on August 15 - with the Independence Day message by party president Akhilesh Yadav. Since then, in a fortnight, the media team of the party handling the channel has uploaded a dozen curated short video documentaries. Some of them are a scathing attack on the ruling BJP and its government on various issues while others are publicising the party and its previous government’s achievements.
“The channel will be used to beam campaign, propagation of the party’s ideas and ideologies, previous SP government’s achievements, party’s future programmes, announcements, expose the ruling party and their lies, live press conferences and live party events,” said Abhishek Mishra, SP national secretary and former UP minister.
If ‘Mission 2022: Baaees Main Bicycle (bicycle in 2022)’ nudges people to vote for the party in 2022 UP assembly elections, then ‘Save UP, the heart of India’ targets the UP government and chief minister Yogi Adityanath. One short film is focused on Agra-Lucknow Expressway and another one on 108 ambulances, while ‘Samajwadi Hausala (socialist grit) highlights the lathicharge on SP youth volunteers’ incident of August 28.
Some other BicycleTV video stories are: Bhagwan sabke hai (God belong to all), mismanagement of government hospitals in Covid-19 and Dharti-putra Mulayam Singh Yadav--the political journey of the party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav.
The party has a team of media experts, researchers, curators, photographers and videographers that is creating content for the Bicycle TV.
The SP is the only regional party in UP to have an active channel, though it is not the first one to venture into it. The Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) had launched a channel three years ago, but the channel has been dormant for two years. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) does not have one yet. Both Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress have their active YouTube channels with a large subscription base, but they are of the national outfit and not of UP counterparts.