Campaigns: Eggs, chillies, Singham and Bahubali

What do eggs, chilli or lemon have to do with elections or for that matter what is the role for Basanti and Dhanno of Bollywood blockbuster Sholay in the hard-boiled politics of Hindi belt?

S S Rajmouli's magnum opus ‘Bahubali’, Bollywood’s iconic film ‘Sholay’ and Ajay Devgn-starrer ‘Singham’ have also found a way into the high octane campaign for the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, a do-or-die battle for the Congress and has high symbolical value for the BJP ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Addressing a rally in Damoh in Tuesday, Congress campaign committee chief Jyotiraditya Scindia was seen wearing a garland of lemon and chilly (nimbu mircha maala), which many in the Hindi belt feel protects people. Scindia chose the occasion to remind voters of onion prices saying they should ensure that the BJP government sheds "tears" this time.

The BJP was quick to lambast Scindia saying that while at present, the Congress is using "'nimbu mirchi', it might as well need to seek help from witchcraft experts once Shivraj magic comes into play.”

Interestingly, the BJP had earlier roped in magicians to highlight the works done by the party in the last 15 years. Scindia hit back, asking why Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is feeling the chilli tinge ('mirchi kyon lag rahi hai').

In a rally in Harda and Khandwa, BJP MP from Mathura Hema Malini regaled the voters with her famous banter with Dhanno, the mare asking the villagers whether they have to go with Basanti, who will showcase them the "prosperity" brought by BJP government.

Though most BJP leaders bat for vegetarian food, an egg seller in Bhopal, a BJP supporter, offered discounts on eggs up to Rs 100 if BJP wins all eight Assembly seats under the Bhopal Parliamentary constituency. The shop owner, Sanjay, promised free eggs to anybody who came to his shop on counting day.

Months before the poll campaigning began for MP, spoofs of Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Kamal Nath as ‘Bahubali’ and ‘Singham', respectively, were a hit on social media. Congress leaders, however, say that the attempt to project Chouhan backfired as the chief minister has so far projected himself as somebody rooted to the ground with a humble background.

Another counter spoof was released in which Nath was portrayed as the tough cop 'Singham' with Digvijaya Singh and Jyotiraditya Scindia in police uniform. The chief minister was portrayed as the main antagonist. In the earlier video, Chouhan was the protagonist and Congress leadership the antagonist.

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Campaigns: Eggs, chillies, Singham and Bahubali

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