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‘Ab ki baar, Modi sarkar slogan was born in BJP’s election war room’

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As a Twitter storm rages, party’s campaign managers say the ‘Modi sarkar’ catchline for 2014 Lok Sabha election was a result of their collective brainstorming.

Even as a Twitter storm rages over the origin of the popular BJP slogan, ‘Ab ki baar, Modi sarkar’, those who managed the party’s 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign have stepped up to own the catchline. The line was not invented by a businessman, as it is being made out on social media, but was a result of their collective effort, they said.

Party sources said the last two words — “Modi sarkar” — were, in fact, coined by Nisheeth Sharan, head of Utopia Consulting, a PR firm hired by the BJP to spruce its election campaign.

Sharan told ThePrint the first few words — “Ab ki baar” were suggested by BJP’s election campaign committee and finally the catchline was born. Big guns such as Amit Shah, Arun Jaitley, Piyush Goyal and Sushma Swaraj were part of this panel.

Recalling his experience, Sharan said the BJP came up with the slogan, “Ab ki bari, Atal Bihari” during its previous election campaigns.

“There was a brainstorming session going on in the BJP’s war room. Initially, a number of contrived slogans were coming up. At the same time, those present there were discussing as to which advertising agency should be hired for our poll campaign. Amid all this, the slogan came up and everybody approved of it,” added Sharan.

He said that BJP leaders wanted the slogan to be short and simple.

“Banu Nagrajan, Debojo Mahrishi, Arvind Sen and I — all of us were BJP volunteers for the election campaign — were involved in the process. After hours of debate and deliberations, we came up with, ‘Is baar, BJP sarkar’. We wanted to bring in Modi because studies showed that the word ‘Modi’ had a lead over ‘BJP’. The line was then tweaked to ‘Is baar Modi sarkar’,” Sharan said.

He went on to say that even top adman Prasoon Joshi was contacted and he apparently suggested, “Desh ki pukar, Modi sarkar”.

“But ‘desh ki Pukar’ sounded like we were assuming that we had won. So, the committee sent back the suggestion, seeking a little alteration. Then, I came up with the words, ‘Modi sarkar’ and added the first line, ‘Ab ki baar’, borrowed from the previous election campaign,” said Sharan.

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