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2-min read

'We Thought It Was BSP Scheme': Why Rahul Gandhi Added 'Congress Hai Na' to NYAY War Cry

With the suffix ‘Congress Hai Na’, or ‘Congress Is Here’, it is attempting to convey to the masses that with the Congress around, one needn’t worry. The addition promotes both NYAY and Congress, making for an aggressive campaign.

Pallavi Ghosh | CNN-News18_pallavighosh

Updated:April 14, 2019, 2:36 PM IST
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'We Thought It Was BSP Scheme': Why Rahul Gandhi Added 'Congress Hai Na' to NYAY War Cry
A billboard showing Rahul Gandhi hugging a poor woman with the party's poll tagline at the bottom. (Photo: News18)
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New Delhi: The Congress is banking on its Nyuntam Aay Yojana or NYAY to tap into the anger among the youth and unemployed during the ongoing general elections. It’s hoping that the minimum income guarantee scheme would do for it in 2019 what the farm loan waiver did in 2009.

On the ground, however, several voters remain oblivious to the scheme. When News18 spoke to voters in Raebareli and Amethi, the constituencies of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, many were also unaware that it is being promised by the Congress.

In fact, when pro-NYAY flags in blue were first waved during Rahul Gandhi’s roadshow in Amethi, many mistook it to be BSP flags, which are also blue in colour. Congress leaders say the blue flags were “prepared” by the students’ wing, NSUI, which also follows similar colour pattern.

The optics, however, ended up confusing even Congress workers. “We thought it was BSP scheme since they have decided to support us here (in Amethi) at least,” one of them told News18. In indirect support, the BSP-SP-RLD alliance has not fielded candidates in Amethi and Raebareli.

Aware of the dangers such confusion could bring, the Congress has decided to suffix ‘Congress Hai Na’, or ‘Congress Is Here’, to its official war-cry ‘Ab NYAY Hoga’. It’s attempting to convey to the masses that with the Congress around, one needn’t worry. The addition promotes both NYAY and Congress, making for an aggressive campaign.

Party sources say this was the brief given to marketing agencies – conceive ideas that don’t go below the belt, but also appeal to the youth. Eventually, Chandigarh-based Naresh Arora’s DesignBoxed came up with ‘Congress Hai Na’.

Arora, who came up with the campaign, told News18: “We wanted to project the Congress as a party which is the solution to all problems. If you don’t have jobs, for example, Congress Hai Na.”

But doesn’t it seem derivative, given that the BJP came up with ‘Modi Hai Toh Mumkin Hai’ first? Arora maintains that the tagline is crowd-sourced and was coined after gathering feedback from the ground.

“We derived it from our successful campaigns in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Punjab, where we went to the people and asked them for their inputs. For instance, in Rajasthan, the campaign was ‘Jhooth Par Chot, Sach Ko Vote’. In Punjab, it was ‘Main Captain De Naal’, with Amarinder Singh as the protagonist,” he added.

Arora is confident that the new slogan would give the same results at the Centre as it did in the states. “Our campaigns in the states worked because we took feedback from the people. This is what we are doing with all our campaigns as well,” he added.

But election advertising is a whole new ballgame. Mere taglines may not work, which is why the Congress needs to innovate constantly and play the right trump cards to reach 100+ seats in the Lok Sabha.
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