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BJP sells Brand Modi on YouTube, mobiles

As Gujarat prepares for polls, BJP focuses on portraying CM Narendra Modi as a cult figure, writes Ketaki Ghoge.

india Updated: Dec 05, 2007 17:04 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Ketaki Ghoge
Hindustan Times

Hu khaato nathi aane khaawaane deto nathi. (I don’t take bribes and I don’t let anyone take them either.)

Imagine an animated three-dimensional caricature of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi delivering one of his classic one-liners on your cellphone.

Five such 10-second mobile advertisements are ready at the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) information technology cell in Ahmedabad.

As Gujarat prepares for the Assembly elections to be held on December 11 and 16 the party will upload these films on the internet, to be downloaded by fans and party workers, who will in turn pass them around through Bluetooth or infrared technology.

“The ads will be hugely popular,” predicted 44-year-old maths professor Shashiranjan Yadav, who heads the cell.

The election will be one of the most keenly-watched in recent times. It follows a sting operation that showed saffron leaders boasting of murdering and raping Muslims during the communal riots in 2002 and claiming they had Modi’s tacit support.

The campaign revolves around portraying Modi as a cult figure with even negatives like his alleged egotism painted as decisive leadership.

Last week, the cell uploaded eight videos of well-known names like industrialist Ratan Tata and MP Navjot Singh Sidhu singing Modi’s praises on YouTube. The videos were viewed nearly 8,000 times.

A wide range of downloadable material on Modi, such as his speeches, is also available. Fan sites on Modi were created two months ago, while several fan clubs were floated by BJP supporters on popular social networking site Orkut.

All this will be backed by 20 TV ads that will air from Wednesday.

The communication strategy was drawn up by a team led senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley over the last six months. The TV ad tag line Jeetega Gujarat comes from Modi himself and has been endorsed by at least five state-wide surveys.

While the Congress has tried to do a me-too by uploading party chief Sonia Gandhi’s speeches YouTube and seeking a popularity vote on Orkut, it clearly lags behind the BJP on this count.

First Published: Nov 21, 2007 02:25 IST