The social media battle is intensifying ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) triggering a spoof-fest.
The AAP had put out a parody of a cement advertisement that had featured Boman Irani, in which two brothers try to unsuccessfully bring down a wall – in this case, the ‘Kejri Wall’.
The parody advertisement ends with Irani, as in the original, asking why this wall does not break, and the narrator saying, “Kejri Wall — Tutegi kaise? Sacchai aur imaandari se jo bani hai? (How can it break when its made from a mix of truth and honesty?)”
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) January 8, 2020
The Congress hit back with its own parody of another Irani advertisement for Dulux Paints, while the BJP jumped in with its parody version of the same Ambuja advertisement used by the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP.
The high-stakes tussle for power in the national capital is also being hotly contested in the virtual world with parties’ social media warriors battle-ready with their weapons of parodies, memes and hashtags.
“Especially in an urban constituency like Delhi, it is very important to have a well-defined social media strategy. We have been blessed that we have been frontrunners in that,” says AAP social media strategist Ankit Lal.
“About 200 volunteers from across the globe comprise the core team working on different social media platforms for content creation and ideation for the Delhi Assembly polls,” he told PTI.
The AAP’s spoof of the original Ambuja cement advertisement caught eyeballs and triggered a spoof-fest among the political parties. While playing the original advertisement, the AAP’s media cell added titles to the characters and changed the voice over at the end.
The two brothers, both played by Irani, living in two houses side by side, which in the parody are named the BJP and the Congress, unsuccessfully try to bring down the wall between them by using a tree log named “Delhi LG” and explosives named “CBI raid”.
The Congress hit back tweaking a Dulux Paints advertisement that had featured Irani, in which he praises his son in front of his prospective daughter-in-law for being a “double M.A.” and speaking with cab drivers in English. But she tells him his house behind him seems “fourth class fail”.
— Delhi Congress (@INCDelhi) January 9, 2020
In the parody, Irani is named “BJP” and his “double M.A. son” is “AAP”, while the potential bride represents the people.
When the potential bride says, “Daddy ji, aapka ghar toh chauthi fail lagta hai (Your house looks class four fail),” the voiceover, with ‘Kejri Wall’ written in the background, says, “If there are cracks and fungus in your home, we present Indian National Congress which is two times jumla-proof and two times hypocrisy-proof, meaning double protection.”
Reacting to the ad, the AAP shot back saying “Well-tried but…” and posted a still from the movie Gangs of Wasseypur 2 with the dialogue, “Beta, tumse na ho payega (Son, you will not be able to do it).”
— Aam Aadmi Party Delhi (@AAPDelhi) January 9, 2020
The BJP also came out with its parody version of the Ambuja ad, naming the two brothers — Kejriwal and Kanhaiya Kumar — and the wall between them as ‘Rashtravaad (nationalism)’.
— BJP Delhi (@BJP4Delhi) January 9, 2020
The two brothers unsuccessfully try to bring down the wall between their houses by using a tree log named ‘JNU violence’ and explosives named ‘Jamia riot’. The parody ad ends with Irani asking why does this wall not break, and the narrator says, “Tootegi kaise 130 crore bharatiyon se jo bani hai? (How can it break when it is made up of 130 crore Indians?)”
BJP also released a spoof of popular TV show AAP ki Adalat, calling it Paap ki Adalat in which a Kejriwal-lookalike is put in the dock and asked questions about the failures of his government to which he responds that he knows only how to protest and not run a government.
‘PAAP’ ki Adalat… pic.twitter.com/mpnbi417ay
— BJP Delhi (@BJP4Delhi) January 10, 2020
Hitting out at the BJP, the AAP tweeted, “So much effort to ridicule one man. Is this all you got? PS: Boring content. If you need any advice on content or satire please get in touch with us.”
So much effort to ridicule one man. Is this all you got ?
PS : Boring content. If you need any advice on content or satire please get in touch with us. https://t.co/OjZrkNOPsy
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) January 10, 2020
After the Twitter battle of parodies, the AAP took a dig at the BJP and the Congress, posting a picture showing a girl writing her exams, a boy (BJP) copying from her paper and another one sitting at the back with his hands on his forehead (Congress). It added the caption, “Summing up the twitter war so far. Get original guys. @BJP4Delhi @INCDelhi.”
Summing up the twitter war so far.
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) January 9, 2020
Congress social media department national convenor Saral Patel rebutted the charge, saying this is not copying, but replying in the same coin.
Patel, who is in charge of the Delhi Congress social media content, asserted that elections are fought on social media more than on the ground these days. “Social media campaign of a party is the central campaign. Earlier it used to be a secondary campaign, now it is the primary one,” he said.
The social media battle is not just being fought with parodies of ads and shows, but hashtags and memes are very much part of the artillery of the IT cells of the three parties.
The AAP has also been using memes to hit out at the BJP and the Congress. It has tried to corner the BJP for not declaring its chief ministerial candidate, posting a still from the movie Tanu Weds Manu Returns with the dialogue by Deepak Dobriyal, “You are a good question, but your question hurt me.”
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) January 8, 2020
The Congress has been attacking the AAP on its failures in keeping promises, posting various tweets to highlight such issues using the hashtag ‘jhaadu ka jhaansa’.
The ‘Jhadu’ (broom) is AAP’s election symbol.
The result of this online battle will be known on February 11 when counting of votes takes place after polling on February 8.