‘Behenji ko aane do’: BSP lines up video series to woo voters ahead of UP polls

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will launch an online video campaign that aims to woo the young generation and also take on its opponents in the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.

The title of the campaign ‘Behenji ko aane do’ plays on the endearing term the party chief Mayawati is known as in the state, a Hindi word which means “sister”.

Elections in the country’s most populous state will be held in seven phases, from February 11 to March 8 and Mayawati is hoping to beat a divided Samajwadi Party, the BJP and the Congress for another term as chief minister.

The 60-year-old champion of the Dalits is a four-time chief minister.

Prepared by the BSP social media team, the videos will be made available on Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, You Tube and television channels before the party rolls out its election campaign on January 17.

“The ‘Behenji ko aney do’ video series is our reply to SP’s ‘Kaam bolta hai’ and BJP’s ‘Na gundaraj, na bhrashtachar, abki bar BJP sarkar’,” a senior BSP leader told HT.

In the past, BSP depended on traditional campaigning for both assembly and Lok Sabha elections, relying on public meetings, hoardings, posters, leaflets and booklets to take the party’s message to the masses.

Mayawati has desisted from using social media for campaigning, arguing that the majority of BSP workers and supporters come from weaker sections of the society and reside in rural areas.
“Rather than social media, BSP workers should reach supporters with the message of the party chief,” she had said recently. In a meeting organised in December, she had directed party workers to distribute booklets and CDs of her speech to voters.

Although the BSP chief will not launch the campaign video series, sources said, she has given nod to senior leaders to release the same. Likewise, party candidates being fielded from all the 403 assembly seats have been given the green signal to make use of social media while campaigning.

Senior BSP leaders have launched Twitter accounts to run their campaign on the micro blogging site. These are being used to share information on programmes and public meetings, as well as for highlighting the party’s ideology.

A dozen campaign videos will form the series with themes such as ‘Let daughters smile’, ‘Make villages prosperous’, ‘Dignity of all communities’, ‘New light for minorities’, ‘Justice for the innocent’, ‘Fulfil youth dreams’, and ‘Empowerment of women and senior citizens’.
“Police atrocities, intimidation by SP supporters, communal violence, problems faced by students, farmers and traders, lathicharge of government employees and teachers, and failure of the UP government in fulfilling the aspirations of people will also be highlighted in the campaign videos,” the party leader added.

Sources said BSP will also showcase the achievements of its government (2007-2012) through short films.

“Screen-fitted campaign vehicles will telecast these films in rural areas. BSP has hired an agency to the make these films and videos, and draft the strategy for the party’s campaign,” said a party worker.

With the notification of the first phase of UP assembly elections on January 17, Mayawati is poised to launch a whirlwind campaign across the state. She will address over 60 meetings in different districts.