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Elections 2009: Big budgets, big tie-ups, big stakes

04-March-2009
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Elections 2009: Big budgets, big tie-ups, big stakes

The Lok Sabha poll dates have been announced and this year, two of the three pet passions of Indians will collide – politics and cricket. While the five-phased polls will be held between April 16 and May 13, the Indian Premier League Season two is slated to be held between April 10 and May 24.

The poll juggernaut has been set rolling and this year, the budget for holding the Lok Sabha elections is at a staggering Rs 10,000 crore (no effects of slowdown here). Touted as the most expensive elections ever, this time round no topical poll plank seems to be forthcoming. According to a survey carried out by Centre for Media Studies, this Rs 10,000 crore is way ahead of the Rs 8,000 crore ($1.8 billion) spent during the 2009 US Presidential elections. What’s more, while the money was spent over the entire course of the US elections, in India, the whole amount will be spent in just a few months in the run-up to the polls.

Wary about the former NDA government’s Indian Shining campaign backfiring badly, the UPA Government has not come up with any catchy campaign slogan yet. However, some major dailies have been carrying a surfeit of full-page ads extolling the achievements of various ministries and government departments.

While election campaigns in India have always been a very colourful affair – what with polls taking in the regional hues, cultural and religious diversities – this time round, the young political guns are also aiming for the ‘wired’ generation.

Even a not-so-young LK Advani, prime ministerial candidate for the Opposition, has logged on to the Net with his very popular website www.lkadvani.in. Youth Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has taken cue from the Idea Cellular ads and is in the process of tying up with cellular operators to connect with the youth and get their opinion on a myriad of issues.

Tata TEA’s Jaago Re campaign has been on for quite some time now to involve the youths to get involved in the process of national building.

With several young political leaders – Omar Abdullah, Murli Deora, Jyotiradutya Scindia, Sachin Pilot, Rahul Gandhi, et al – these elections are expected to see a sizeable young population coming out to vote.

exchange4media in the coming days will cover major political parties and their campaign plans, plus the strategies that their ad agencies have devised. Watch this space.

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