Parties plan campaign spin to suit election pitches

April 1st, 2011 - 7:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) Mega rallies, intimate door-to-door visits, fleeting roadshows and multimedia canvassing. With the assembly elections to five assemblies only days away, political parties are on a mission to win voters, every which way.

The poll process, being dubbed the biggest litmus test since the 2009 general elections, kicks off April 4 in Assam. The multi-phased elections are also being held in West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

And everybody is projecting their best to grab the lion’s share of the 824 seats in the April-May elections that end with Wets Bengal May 10.

The big players are the Congress, which is the incumbent in Assam and Puducherry; the Left, trying to hold on to power in Kerala and West Bengal; the Trinamool Congress, making a bid for power in West Bengal; Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK and opposition AIADMK; the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP); and, of course, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that has a presence only in the Assam assembly.

And all are tailoring their campaigns to suit the audience.

For the Congress, under relentless attack over a series of controversies including Commonwealth Games, 2G spectrum, Adarsh Society and Devas-Antrix deal on S-band spectrum, the assembly polls provide an opportunity to regain political momentum.

“Naturally, where we are in the opposition, we will talk aggressively. We will expose the anti-people stance of the leadership in those states,” Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed, in-charge of West Bengal, told IANS.

The party would focus on “economic bankruptcy” under 34 years of Left Front rule.

“In Assam and Puducherry, we are seeking a vote on the basis of our performance. In Kerala, we will expose the bad governance of the Left Democratic Front (LDF),” he said.

In Tamil Nadu, the Congress is fighting the polls as an ally of the DMK.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi would canvass for votes. Gandhi has already campaigned in Assam.

While their tour programmes over the next two months are being given final shape, former Tamil Nadu chief minister and AIADMK chief J. Jayalalithaa, desperate to unseat the DMK has begun the job.

“Our leader has hit the roads. Our campaign is to end the single party domination and send the most corrupt regime since independence to pavilion,” AIADMK MP P. Maitreyan said.

DMK chief and Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s modus operandi is different.

“We are relying on our performance. Every household in the state has benefited from the schemes of the state government relating to social infrastructure,” DMK MP T.K.S. Elangovan said.

The AGP, Assam’s principal opposition party that has tied up with some regional parties for polls to the 126-member assembly, is using door-to-door campaigns, small meetings as well as state level rallies, said party MP Birendra Prasad Baishya.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), fighting hard to retain party-led governments in West Bengal and Kerala, is targeting “corruption and neo-liberal policies” of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government in New Delhi.

The party is banking on its two chief minister - Kerala’s V.S. Achuthanandan and West Bengal’s Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee - to seek another term based on good performance, said party leader Nilotpal Basu.

He said that CPI-M was focusing on door-to-door campaign in West Bengal due to board examinations till April 13. “It will be supplemented by big rallies,” he said.

In Kerala, the party was highlighting cases of corruption faced by United Democratic Front (UDF) leaders.

Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool is planning to go a step further, using multimedia tableaux, video screens, billboard presentations and giant balloons to get its message across to the electorate that has returned Left Front governments in West Bengal for over three decades.

The BJP is using its star powers - Hema Malini, Smriti Irani and Shatrughan Sinha - its bid to make a mark in four assemblies and increase its stake in Assam.

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