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BJP goes beyond India's shine

April 10, 2004 11:16 IST

If the voter has somehow missed the fact that India is shining, the Bharatiya Janata Party is readying to educate him anew. This time to tell him how he has gained personally from a resurgent economy.

The party is planning a new media blitz -- India First (Bharat Sabse Pehle) -- featuring common citizens who have gained from the BJP's economic agenda. The campaign will, of course, be underlined with a message to vote judiciously.

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will figure prominently in the India First television ads. Vajpayee is already speaking in Kannada on television in Karnataka. Party sources claim this has gone down well because this is the first time that Vajpayee's voice has been heard in a regional language. The prime minister's voice is also being recorded in other languages to seek support for local BJP candidates.

The print ad campaign featuring the common man is expected to showcase the wider economic boom and how he gains from it.

According to BJP sources, the party has not officially appointed an agency yet. Grey Worldwide and Percept D'Mark had made a pitch for the Rs 50 crore (Rs 500 million) campaign, which is roughly in line with the Congress media campaign budget. The Congress has appointed Orchard, a Leo Burnett subsidiary, as its agency.

The finance ministry's India Shining campaign has been one of the most successful government campaigns with advertisements in nearly 10 languages across 200 magazines and newspapers, and 30 TV channels. The blitz cost the government close to Rs 60 crore (Rs 600 million).

The campaign had focused on the economic progress made during the National Democratic Aliiance government's tenure and had also highlighted social sector programmes initiated by the Centre in the last four years.

BS Economy Bureau in New Delhi