The UP polls battle is turning musical with a Bhojpuri flavor and grabbing people’s attention on social media ahead of the seven-phase State Assembly elections which will begin on February 10.
These songs are creating buzz online as the Electoral Commission (EC) has yet to allow physical campaigning for the ballot box. More such songs praising or targeting political parties could be heard in the coming weeks.
Bhojpuri singer Neha Singh Rathore released number ‘UP Mein Ka Ba? (What’s in UP?)” in an apparent response to BJP MP Ravi Kishan’s song “UP Mein Sab Ba” (UP Has Everything) that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath posted to Gorakhpur on January 15.
Ravi Kishan, in this campaign song, listed the achievements of Yogi Adityanath government with the lyrics: “Yogi ki sarkar ba, vikas ki bahar ba.. sadkan ke jaal ba, kaam bemisal ba, je kabau na rehal u ab baa. UP mein sab ba (A source of development flows under the mandate of the Yogi government. A network of roads has been laid. Unparalleled work has been done. UP has everything that was never there before).
“Yes, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath released the song on ‘khichri’ on January 15. It got a very good response. It’s going viral,” said Ravi Kishan.
Ravi Kishan’s song received an immediate response with Bhojpuri folk singer Neha Singh Rathore also reportedly releasing campaign songs during the Bihar assembly elections.
His song seems to question Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for his achievements, his handling of the Hathras incident and Covid-19. The song also raised the issue of the mowing down of farmers by a vehicle in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3, 2021. Ashish Mishra, the son of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni, is the main defendant in the ‘case.
Without naming the chief minister or anyone else, Neha Rathore is heard singing: “Baba ke darbar ba, khatm rozgar ba. Hathras ke nirnaya jo hat, ladki ke parivar ba, arrey ka ba, UP mein ka ba, corona se lakhan mar gai le, lashan se Ganga bhar gai le Incident of Hathras? Lakhs died of Covid-19 and their bodies floated in the Ganges. What’s in UP?)”
“Mantri ke bitwa badi rangatdar ba, mantri ke bitwa badi rangatdar ba, kisanan ke chhati pe raundat motor car ba. E chowkidar bolo ke jimmedar bar ba, ka ba, UP mein ka ba” (The minister’s son had a lot of influence and he mowed down farmers under his car. Chowkidar! Who is responsible. What is it? in UP?).
“Ram raj ke jhanki ba, Kashi Mathura baaki ba (Kashi and Mathura are yet to perform in their Ram Rajya trailer),” she also sang.
“Mandir masjid, main mandir masjid thanal gai rar ba, arey ka ba, UP mein ka ba. (There was a dispute between the temple and the mosque. What’s up in UP?),” the song read.
Neha Rathore shared the song on her Twitter account and YouTube channel on Sunday, a day after Ravi Kishan released his song.
The Samajwadi party has also released campaign songs to reach the people of Uttar Pradesh.
“Jhan jhanan man baaje man mai, aasha ka o ek tara” (There is a ray of hope. UP calls Samajwadi Party)” are the opening lines of one of SP’s campaign songs. Another SP campaign song talks about how the party never indulged in hate or caste politics and instead worked for the development of Uttar Pradesh.
“In addition to canvassing, we release campaign songs focusing on the work of the Samajwadi Party. The UP people love our campaign which includes the Vijay Yatras and other similar yatras led by SP leader Akhilesh Yadav,” Samajwadi party spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary said.
The Congress also released a campaign song to support its slogan “Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon (I am a girl, I can fight)”.
“The Congress campaign song is considered an instant hit,” said Deputy Chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC), Pankaj Srivastava.
The campaign song that begins with “stuti” (hymn) of Goddess Durga tells how the women who ruled their homes and worked in the fields are equally comfortable fighting at the frontiers.
“This idea for the campaign song came from Congress Secretary General Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and we worked on the song,” Tejendra, who goes by a name, said.
“It’s campaign time and each party is trying to influence voters. It’s an interesting way to reach people. This is just the beginning and film actors can also organize meetings to campaign for political parties if the EC allows it. This type of campaign attracts the attention of voters and, to a certain extent, can also influence them. Overall, such songs can make political party campaigns interesting but may not influence voters to a large extent,” said Professor SK Dwivedi, former Head of Political Science Department at Lucknow University.