Hajipur: The dates for the Assembly elections in Bihar are yet to be announced, but ground level campaigns with a local flavour, featuring songs in Bhojpuri and Hindi, have already taken off, and promise to provide a foil to what promises to be an intense and high-decibel run-up to the polls.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United), or JD (U), seems to have taken a lead in using songs to reach out to the voter. Songs in Hindi and Bhojpuri blare out from the party's election raths. One of the most popular songs this campaign, in a mix of Hindi and Bhojpuri, says this: "Let Bihar continue with its feel good atmosphere. Please elect Nitish Kumar again."
Another JD (U) song goes, "This election is about Bihari self-respect and pride. And only the grand alliance can give us Biharis our self-respect."
Political workers say many more songs are likely to make their way into campaigns as they form an instant connect with people. "These are not mere songs, there are emotive issues packaged as songs. And that's why they have an instant connect," says a JD (U) worker who was campaigning in Hajipur.
The BJP too seems to have reached a similar conclusion after a recent event by a party affiliate in Patna, where a Bhojpuri singer was a bigger hit than the netas on offer. His song on Prime Minister Narendra Modi had gone, "The Ganga River is calling out for the son of the soil, and that can only be our Modi ji."
With parties and candidates vying to be heard over each other, this connect has found instant interest from not just parties, which come up with songs to be used across the state, but also from individual candidates looking to make a dent in their own constituencies.
"A majority of our orders come from Nitish and Lalu Yadav's party. They are the ones who take the song route more and with regularity," says Pradip Ji, who owns the PG Super Sound Studio, a popular haunt with musically inclined politicians. "I remember this song I composed for Lalu ji many years ago. It was a big hit," he adds.
Once election dates are announced and campaigning actually picks up, more political songs can be expected to hit the election trails of Bihar, adding a dash of humour to an otherwise politically intense election in the state.