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'BJP ka Damroo' to 'Kejriwal ki Baari': Musical War in Delhi Before MCD Polls

On Delhi's streets, e-rickshaws and autos are blasting campaign songs to promote their favourite political party.

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Cameraperson: Ribhu Chaterjee

Video Editor: Prajjwal Kumar

BJP ka matlab sewa hai, sewa ka damru bajaaye rakhna - Somewhere on the streets of Kalkaji, an e-rickshaw garlanded with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) flags and posters goes through narrow lanes, blasting the party's campaign song. It almost certainly runs into other e-rickshaws that are doing the same for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and the Congress party, blasting the respective parties' quirky music and catchy jingles.

The election fever is spreading across the city with the elections for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) just a few days away.

The polls of the civic body, that has existed since 1958, are scheduled for 4 December and the results will be announced three days after on 7 December.

We rode on some of these e-rickshaws and chatted with drivers to find out what they are up to, what kind of songs they are playing, how many hours they drive their musical cars, and what they think of the upcoming polls.

What Do the Songs Say?

Raju, driving an e-rickshaw for the BJP, says that the songs playing on his vehicle are talking about what the party has done, and what it is going to do in the future.

"People should understand this and cast their votes accordingly."

When asked if he knows the lyrics of the songs by heart, he said: "Yes, it's a lot of fun, and whatever PM Modi has done, we are trying to make the people aware of it."

Just as we finished chatting with Raju, two more e-rickshaws with Congress banners pulled up on the side, with one of them blasting rap music: 'Yaha sadkon pe gaddhe, gaddhon mei sadke hain, janta ke suljhe na jo masle ab tak atke hain.'

"The song says that one has to find streets in between the potholes," said Naresh. His friend Ravinder, who was driving an identical vehicle, highlighted a part of the songs that conveys a simple message: "The voter is the captain, change is the captain."

It didn't take us long to run into an e-rickshaw advertising for the biggest competitor in the MCD polls: 'Janta ki tayyari hai, Kejriwal ki baari hai.'

"The song says that the people are ready for change, and it is Arvind Kejriwal's turn. I drive in the Kalkaji constituency for around 8-9 hours everyday," said Dinesh Kumar.

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How do People Respond to the Music?

All the drivers claim to have received a positive response to their musical campaigns. Naresh, sitting in his Congress party e-rickshaw, said that when people hear the music, they come out to see.

"Students and others who are walking about start dancing to the tunes. The songs make people go out and vote. Talking about the Congress, the people want change and maybe, this time they will win."

Raju said that people have danced and clapped behind his e-rickshaw. "They have given me chai, they stop me to buy me food. They give a lot of respect."

Dinesh asserted that the songs remind people to step out and vote.

"People listen to the songs and get reminded that it's time to vote. Voting is very important in a democracy. Gone are the days when kings were born only from the queens," he said.

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