BJP feels it has the winning slogan for Delhi election

November 21st, 2008 - 2:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Nov 21 (IANS) “Mehengi Padi Congress” (Congress at what cost?)! With prices of food items touching a new high ahead of assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) feels the slogan will help it take power in the national capital after 10 long years. And strategists at The Hive, a communications agency that served the BJP well in Gujarat and Karnataka, says the message plays on people’s insecurities.Already, the BJP message is being spread through the print media, radio and television.

Senior BJP leader and party general secretary Arun Jaitley, who is in charge of the election campaign in Delhi, told IANS: “The objective of the campaign is to convince the voters, who are unhappy with the Congress, to vote for the BJP.”

“Certainly, we have a very good chance of winning” the Nov 29 elections, he added.

After three months of thinking and planning, The Hive coined the snappy slogan, on the lines of its “Jeetega Gujarat” war cry that did wonders for the BJP and Chief Minister Narendra Modi in Gujarat.

BJP leaders say “Mehengi Padi Congress” sums up the popular mood vis-a-vis the Congress — particularly on the economic front.

With tomatoes at Rs.40 a kg, potatoes at Rs.20 a kg and even the humble singhara (water chestnut) at Rs.20 a kg, the “mehengi” slogan sums up the price situation aptly, says R.P. Singh, a director at The Hive.

“When we coin a slogan, we keep in mind that we have (just) 15-20 days to ram home the message to the electorate. It has to be apt and short and convey what we are trying to say succinctly,” Singh told IANS.

The inflationary trend did not exist during this year’s electoral battle in Karnataka in May which the BJP won, taking power in a southern state for the first time. The Hive team has made the most of it.

“If we talk about price rise, we have to think if it is really pinching people. This time the Congress has proved to be ‘mehengi’, and the message goes home to the electorate,” Singh said.

Hive members were briefed thoroughly by the BJP brass in charge of the elections in Delhi, and planning out the strategy began three months ago, said Singh.

The agency, which is into strategic planning and media handling, has a team of 19 members headed by Sushil Pandit, CEO and one of the directors, involved in the BJP campaign.

The team members hold regular brainstorming sessions with Jaitley, Delhi chief ministerial candidate V.K. Malhotra and Harsh Vardhan, the Delhi BJP chief.

Pandit revealed what the BJP wanted from them. “As a client they sought my perspective on how to go about the whole thing, their handicaps and strengths, what to highlight and what to avoid, and what to take advantage of,” he said.

“We build a campaign platform and make sure that it is favourable to the party and appeals to the voters. Issues that do not work must stay out.”

According to an agency insider, two hard-hitting short films the Hive made for the BJP on terrorism and on the Congress “appeasement of a particular community” were rejected by a panel made up of officials from the Election Commission and the information and broadcasting ministry.

The Hive has also bagged the BJP campaign for Rajasthan, which goes to the polls Dec 4. The issues for both states are the same, though in Delhi the BJP is in the opposition and in Rajasthan it is the ruling party.

“The biggest issue is the everyday lives of the people. Inflation, the economic downturn and terrorism touch everyone, and that is what we are stressing on,” Pandit told IANS.

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