Political parties are contemplating on using the cricket platform during the upcoming T-20 tournaments to build contact with the younger generation ahead of the Assembly polls in the state.
The politicians in the state, where the Assembly election is scheduled to take place from April 4, are planning to mingle with the youngsters by watching the T-20 matches in groups. Believing that passing time with the youngsters is in itself a kind of campaigning; the leaders will not drag any political discussion and will not appeal to them to vote in their favour.
Going a step ahead, candidates from some Assembly constituencies will set up giant screens at different places in their areas where hundreds of people will gather to watch the cricket matches. Many have decided to distribute time table of the tournaments in their respective areas.
The cricket fever is running high with a month long T-20 World Cup and then the season nine of the Indian Premier League. During this period, leaders of all political parties will try to woo voters. West Bengal, mainly Kolkata is well known for its ‘para’ culture. Thus, people gathering under one-roof to watch cricket match on television, especially when India is playing against Pakistan, is quite common. As a result, the politicians are all set to cease the contact building opportunity with the younger generation.
The World T-20 has already begun on March 8 and it will continue till April 3. Again the IPL will continue for one and a half month starting from April 8. Moreover, the final matches of both the tournaments are scheduled to take place at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
After going through the schedule of the tournaments, politicians here have calculated that matches will be telecasted on most days during which they will campaign in their respective region.
Youngsters, who prefer cricket more than politics, will surely have an inclination to know about the performance of their favourite cricketer instead of discussing election campaign or wall graffiti.
The age limit of the 3.67 per cent of the total voters in the state is between 18 and 19 years, who will cast vote for the first time, and their votes can make a difference for any political party. So, the strategy is to make them feel important and that the political leaders will always be with them in both good and bad times.
The political parties have decided not to brag about their party activities while enjoying the match as they consider on Thursday’s youth to be well informed.
They know the names and appearance of the candidates of different political parties from their Assembly constituencies. Social media plays a major role in creating such awareness. Thus, spending time with them is more important, said a Trinamool Congress leader. Rajib Banerjee, Trinamool Congress candidate from Domjur Assembly constituency in Howrah, said, “He has plans to set up giant screens at five different places in his area. He also plans to distribute time table of the IPL matches.” Debanjal Chatterjee, Howrah district president of BJP, said, “It’s a good platform where the candidates can make their presence felt. “A few years ago similar situation had cropped up when IPL matches were held abroad, during the time of general election. Hence, there is no question of letting this opportunity go to build our relation with the common people.”