Why BJP will not hold public rallies in post-coronavirus Bihar assembly polls | India News

NEW DELHI: The forthcoming assembly elections in Bihar, scheduled for October-November, may not witness the traditional style of political campaigning if the current situation arising out of novel coronavirus prevails in the country and especially in the poll-bound state.
Perhaps, for the first time in the history of Indian politics, the BJP is gearing up to lead an election campaign that would be devoid of huge public rallies and meetings.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the dynamics of almost everything. At a time when social distancing and lockdown have completely transformed the social, personal and professional lives of people, political activities could not have remained untouched.
The political parties boasting of lakhs of people in their public meetings could well become a thing of the past, at least for some time in the near future.
The BJP has said it will not hold public meetings and rallies to campaign for the Bihar assembly elections if elections are held but conditions are not completely normal by then.
Talking to timesofindia, BJP national general secretary in charge of West Bengal, Kailash Vijayvargiya said, “As situations prevail now, for the first time in the history of the BJP since 1980, we will not hold any public meetings or rallies.”
Vijayvargiya said as there will be limitations on gathering at a public place due to Covid-19, there will be no public meetings and public rallies for the forthcoming state polls in Bihar.
“The traditional campaigning methods will not be used for the Bihar elections. Technology will be used to the hilt for reaching out to the voters,” he said.
The senior BJP leader said messaging application like WhatsApp will be used to spread information about candidates, manifesto and the party’s policies. Online media will be utlised to the optimum level, he said.
He said, “Besides these, TV channels will also be utilised. We will buy slots on Doordarshan for campaigning.”
The BJP has already started planning in this direction.
National In-charge of BJP’s information and technology cell, Amit Malviya said if the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage as it is doing now, a lot of communication will happen through digital media and other public mediums like television and radio.
Amit Malviya said, “It is not unusual for digital media, TV and radio to take precedence over the traditional form of campaigning because if you look at the developed western countries of the world, the idea of big public rallies is fading away, although for different reasons.”
Therefore, he said, the power of the message and the leadership of the day will hold sway over the electorate.
In the US presidential elections, the maximum turnout in the biggest rallies is between 5000-6000 people.
Amit Malviya said urban India has already started witnessing a similar trend of low turnouts in public meetings. In the last Delhi assembly elections, the biggest public meetings would not have more than 6,000 people because people have less time to attend them.
“If you visualise India 15-20 years down the line, you will also see the same situation,” he said.

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