Chandigarh: In Haryana and Punjab, the Lok Sabha election campaign this year is being fought on an aggressive new front — songs, YouTube and the number of likes. Candidates are no longer just relying on voters who fill their rally grounds to hear their speeches.
Voter connect is also being influenced by shareable online songs. As campaigning peaks in Haryana and Punjab, it is now heavily riding on songs, slogans and hashtags as candidates pep up their act to connect with voters.
Dushyant takes the lead
Dushyant Chautala, a youth Jat icon in Haryana, is among those at the vanguard of this trend, using songs to the hilt to popularise his newly-formed Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), a breakaway faction of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD).
This is how he was introduced in a song released in April.
36 jaat ne sang le chaale, Kare na jhoote vaade re
Dharma Majhab nae jaane koiya, iske nek iraade re
Saaf chhavi aur nek niti se pucca jubaan mein
Hisar ke jeete pale Dushyant phir maidan mein
12 mayee ko vote daldo chappal ke nishan pe
saare virodhi udd jaaveinge jajpa ke toofan mein.
(He takes all the 36 jaats with him
Does not make false promises
He knows no religion or sect, his intentions are kind
Has a clean image and keeps his promises
He won from Hisar and has been brought up in Hisar,
Dushyant is once again in the fray.
Vote for the chappal on 12 May
All his opponents will be blown away in the JJP hurricane)
But the JJP song to really catch on is this one sung by Tinku Khatla, which was released five days ago.
Vyaapari yog ka gathan kraave
Budapa pension ghar ghar pahunchaaye
RO ka paani har gaon mein
Thane police kee vyavastha kraave
Dawaayi bhi mile free mein ilaaj ho jaaye hamara
Yo Dushyant Chautala bhai laage jaan se pyaara
(He got the traders’ commission set up,
He ensured that old age pension reaches every home
He got RO purified water in every village
He got police stations to function
We get medicines and medical treatment is free
Dushyant Chautala Bhai is dearer to us more than our life)
As if this wasn’t enough, the JJP released another number two days ago — Kaho dil se…Dushyant phir se by popular Punjabi singer Goldy Gill.
Then there is Mahara Sapna, released six days ago by Gagan Kokri, another popular Punjabi singer, and which has over 5.9K views:
Haamare dimaag na rajniti jaante
haryana ke vikaas mhara ik sapna
(Our brains don’t understand politics
But our sole dream is to develop Haryana)
Apart from keeping waiting audience entertained in election gatherings, these songs are on the Facebook pages of the candidates and blaring from loudspeakers during road shows.
Also read: It’s more politics, less music in the battle of the BJP & Congress campaign songs
The INLD started it all
Dushyant is the sitting Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) MP from Hisar and appears to have picked up this election trick while in the party. The INLD generally doles out numbers for the Chautalas, eulogising the Jat party and its leaders, with Devi Lal being the most revered of them all.
The schism in the party last year, however, divided songwriters and singers too. During the Jind bypoll held early this year the INLD and its breakaway faction, JJP, had their own set of election songs.
The families of Ajay Chautala (Dushyant’s father) and Abhay Chautala are battling it out through songs again in these polls. Abhay’s son Arjun Chautala is in the fray from Kurukshetra and has a song dedicated to himself:
Kayee jhoote vaade karte
Hum yo kar denge vo kar denge
Fenke jhot ke ghode
Un jhooton kerna mooh pe taala tane lagana
Tu neta sabte nyaare..laage jee te pyaara
is Kuruksheter ne sun le bas tera ek sahara
Bas arjun jatta tere haath mein kuruksheter bachaana
Tere jaisa sansad koi na kuruksheter ne paana
(There are false promises galore
We will do this do that is what they say
Their gloat and claim
It is for you to shut them up
You are a unique leader, a darling of the people
Arjun jatta you hold the key to saving Kurukshetra
Kurukshetra will never get an MP like you)
Other parties catching up
Three-time Rohtak MP Deepender Hooda, who the Congress has fielded from the seat again, has been playing songs in his rallies too.
“Songs impact mass minds like nothing else,” says Jagbir, a Hooda supporter. “And with the Election Commission taking the colour out of the elections due to restrictions on funds, songs are an economical way of adding fun to the campaign.”
This is one song in praise of the Congress leader:
Rohtak Lok Sabha voter saare iske saath khade sain
Ek lehar thi poori vipakshi moode pade hain
Inte bacch ke rahio vipakshi saare chor sain
Loot ke khavese BJP, janta laa di road pe
Rohtak Lok Sabha mein iski na takkar mein koi aur sae
Congress Congress hori Bhai Deepender ka jor sae
Jeetega bhai jeetega.. yo bhai deepender jittega
(Rohtak Lok Sabha voters are all with him
It is a wave all across and the opposition is nowhere to be seen
Beware of them… they are all thieves
BJP looted everyone and the public is on the roads
there is no one in his competition in Rohtak,
Congress, Congress is all one hears
Victory to Deepender!)
A month ago, a song was released for Congress leader and MLA Kiran Chaudhary whose daughter Shruti is the candidate from Bhiwani-Mahendergarh. Chaudhary is the daughter-in-law of the popular Haryana chief minister Bansi Lal.
Har kee bhoomi Haryanae kee sewa kargaye Bansi Lal
Kiran Chaudhary haryanae mein jo karde kare kamaal
(Bansi Lal did a lot for Haryana
Now everything that Kiran Chaudhary does
she does it well)
Also read: How 5 families over 3 generations have controlled Haryana’s politics from day one
Catching on in Punjab too
Congress candidate from Sangrur, Kewal Singh Dhillon, is probably the only candidate in Punjab using songs in his campaign, giving rise to a new trend on the state’s election scene.
This is one song in favour of the Congress leader:
Kewal khushali kewal vikaas
Kewal Singh Dhillon Sangrur dee aas
Vikaas kitiya gap nee mare
Galla de naal sapp nee mare
Kam bolde aape dekhlo
Barnale noon vee jila banaya
Congress de parcham lehraya
90 dina da record todke bridge banaya
chhutkale ethe sunan vale diya akhan reh gayian khadian
(Development alone… Prosperity alone
Kewal Singh Dhillon is Sangrur’s hope
His works are for everyone to see
He created Barnal district
He got a bridge constructed in record time of 90 days
The comedian too is shocked at his pace)
Slogans and hashtags
Dhillon is also using the slogan kamm karke dikhaaye chutkule nahin sunaaye(My work speaks for itself, I am not doling out jokes) in his campaign, a veiled dig at his opponent and sitting AAP MP Bhagwant Mann, a comedian-turned-politician.
Sunil Jakhar, the state’s Congress chief who is the candidate from Gurdaspur, is using hashtag Jakhar hai dhakar (Jakhar is bold and brave), mainly to counter the screen image of his opponent, the BJP’s actor-turned-politician Sunny Deol.
Former union minister and Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari, who is the party candidate from Anandpur Sahib, is relying on a simple two-word message — Tuhada Manish (your Manish) — to connect with voters in a constituency that he is contesting from for the first time.
The Congress’ sitting MP from Amritsar, Gurjit Aujla, is using the line “neta ahin beta” to project himself as a youthful face as opposed to his opponent, BJP minister Hardeep Puri.
The Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal, who is contesting from Ferozepur, has a dedicated social and creative media team looking after his online campaign. His election hashtags #johkahangasokaranga (I will deliver what I say) and #Tarrkilayeetakdi (scales for progress, scales are the SAD election symbol) are prefixed across all social media platforms and find mention in his election speeches.
SAD’s spoof on the superhit film Avengers: Endgame with the hashtag #rajedaendgame (end of the king’s game) referring to Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who is the Maharaja of Patiala, has been hit with voters too.
The 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana go to the polls on 12 May, while the 13 Punjab seats vote on 19 May, the last day of the elections.