LUCKNOW: In the run-up to the general elections, the Samajwadi Party is trying to woo voters in districts bordering Nepal through promotional programmes on FM radio station based on the other side of the border.
The campaign, which is on aired for the last 20 days now, flags out the accomplishments of the previous Akhilesh Yadav government. It is equally critical of the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government. "We have not approached the Nepal FM Radio, they have picked the content from YouTube and are airing the songs on their own," said a senior SP claimed.
Besides UP CM Yogi Adityanath's stronghold Gorakhpur, the campaign is expected to impact a number of districts, including Maharajganj, Siddharhnagar, Bahraich, Shravasti, Balrampur, Lakhimpur Kheri and Pilibhit.
Notably, Nepal FM Radio airs a programme from 9 pm-10 pm which is replete with songs eulogising SP chief Akhilesh Yadav's development schemes such as widow pension, free ambulance service, and laptops for students.
On Sunday, Akhilesh had invited Dharmendra, a folk singer, to Lucknow and entrusted him with his party's campaign in Madhya Pradesh.
SP cultural cell national general secretary Dharmendra Singh Solanki has lent his voice for the songs. He added that he recorded eight songs and uploaded them on YouTube a month ago. "Nepal FM radio lifted the songs from there (Internet) and airing them daily for one hour," he said, adding that his songs were popular in all districts, especially those in the Terai, along the India-Nepal border. "The most popular songs says: Anyone can be a leader, but not as good as Akhilesh Yadav."
Solanki anticipates some action from the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh. He claimed that the government might slap some cases on him but asserted that he was not one to get scared.
The ruling party is obviously not amused. Pankaj Chaudhary, a BJP MP from Maharajganj, condemned the SP campaign for using 'foreign media'. "I have got information about it from my party workers. It is inappropriate for the Samajwadi Party to indulge in a smear campaign against the government by using some foreign broadcasting media." Chaudhary added that the party would raise this issue with the Centre and suitable steps would be taken.