Now IPL matches at poll rallies to woo voters

April 21st, 2009 - 12:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) With the second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) coinciding with the Lok Sabha polls, political parties are planning to put up giant screens at election rallies to woo voters.
“People in India are mad for cricket. We will put giant screens at election rallies in Delhi so that people can watch the matches live before the rallies start,” said the Congress party’s Chandni Chowk candidate Kapil Sibal, himself an avid cricket fan.

Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said: “Generally the election rallies are in the evening and IPL matches are also at the same time. We can put up some screens at election rallies so that those who come (for the rallies) can watch the matches too.”

The IPL matches and elections are going hand in hand. The IPL matches began in South Africa April 18 and will end May 24. The five-phase general elections began April 16 and votes will be counted May 16.

The IPL series was shifted out of India because its dates clashed with the election scheduled, and some state governments said they would not be able to provide security during the tournament.

Taking a cue from the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Delhi is thinking on similar options. Some of the party candidates have decided to take independent initiatives in this regard.

“We have a proposal (to show IPL matches at election meetings),” Delhi BJP secretary Virendra Sachdeva told IANS.

BJP candidate from New Delhi constituency Vijay Goel said: “I have been (showing cricket matches earlier too) and will do it this time also. I will put up LCD screens and IPL matches will be telecast so that voters don’t miss them.”

Cricketer-turned-politician and BJP candidate from East Delhi, Chetan Chauhan said: “When 40 percent of our total electorate are between 18 and 35 years, then you have to keep in mind their likings.”

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