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BJP to weave campaign around 'prosperous, safer India' theme

By Aasha Khosa
Last updated on: February 16, 2009 10:39 IST
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Samridh Bharat, Surakhshit Bharat (prosperous India, safer India) is the theme slogan of the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party's multi-crore media campaign for the coming Lok Sabha elections that is scheduled to be finalised by the party's prime ministerial candidate, L K Advani, by the month-end.

At least 14 leading advertisement companies are in the race for the party's campaign account, while according to BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, "many more companies are still coming to make presentation".

The slogan, the party feels, is all encompassing as it aims to give hope to the people in the times of economic slowdown, job losses and the threat from terrorists.

Interestingly, the BJP has also made it clear that the campaign should only focus on Advani and no other leader. "Unlike the Congress we are very clear on the leadership issue, hence the focus would be on Advaniji,'' sources said.

This is in sharp contrast to the Congress that has centred its campaign around the troika — party president Sonia Gandhi, general secretary Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

However, the BJP is faced with a dilemma on finalising the business part of the media campaign. "There is a debate within the party whether the contract should be allocated to the people who are ideologically closer to us, and therefore would be able to put their heart in it, or things be decided on professional basis,'' a senior leader told Business Standard.

Party sources say while a section of senior leaders wanted the media campaign to be given to people who were in touch with the party, another had favoured a professional approach. The latter argued that the professional companies could bring in fresh elements in the campaign.

It was to resolve this that the advertisement companies bidding for the contract had made a presentation before Advani himself. Party sources said Advani is likely to take a final decision on this on February 25.

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Aasha Khosa
Source: source