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After surrogate ads, BJP resorts to SMS messages
March 26, 2004 00:02 IST
Notwithstanding public proclamations by its leaders de-linking the ongoing cricket series with Pakistan from politics, BJP poll managers left no mobile phone 'un-beeped' with surrogate SMS messages projecting Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as a 'long innings player' along with Sourav Ganguly and Irfan Pathan.
A day after India's historic cricket win over Pakistan in the ODI series, cellular phone users across the country were bombarded with messages in Hindi that read Khelenge ab lambi baari, Sourav, Sachin aur Atal Bihari (Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and Vajpayee will all play a long innings)."
In an apparent bid to project the party's newfound secular face, another message followed soon, in which Mohammad Kaif and Irfan Pathan replaced Ganguly and Tendulkar.
However, unlike at the time of India's first win at Karachi, the party did not directly associate itself with the messages and chose to identify the sender as 'We Indians'.
While asserting that the party did not intend to draw political mileage out of the cricket win, BJP spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi described the victory as a 'milestone' in the 'peace journey' initiated by Vajpayee and said it has further 'strengthened the feel good factor'.
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