Nov 26, 2008

India - Hi-tech vans spread BJP's poll message

Atal BIhari Vajpayee rings loud and clear, holding the rural audience spellbound: "Andhera Chhatega, sooraj niklega, kamal khilega (the darkness will disappear, the sun will rise, the lotus will bloom)". The former PM is too ill to be present but his virtual presence has been felt in 110 of Madhya Pradesh's 230 constituencies - thanks to the party's hi-tech campaign.

"There are four LED vans constantly touring and showing rural people 30-minute films," said Prabhat Jha, who is looking after the BJP's campaign in the state. The vans, rented at Rs 50,000 a day, have a hydraulic system that pushes a giant screen atop the roof.

The screen comprises small bulbs which light up to take on the shape of Vajpayee, or any other shape programmed. Beginning with excerpts from his speeches, the film has clips of other BJP leaders speaking as well.

The Congress pales in comparison. It had some vans touring the state, using old-fashioned projectors but they aren't being used now.

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