Photo: PTI
Photo: PTI

Voting for the 243-member Bihar assembly will be held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7 in one of the biggest elections globally during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be followed by the counting of votes on November 10.

Ahead of the Bihar elections, there have been several songs that have made headlines, for both controversial reasons and for their political connotations. And with some sounding more familiar than others, many of these campaign song have waded headfirst into controversy. From allegations of plagiarism to musical responses to an Opposition party's campaign song - this election has seen it all. And if you haven't heard these songs, well, simply read on (and listen).

Modi ji ki leher

BJP leaders Bhupender Yadav, Manoj Tiwari and Sanjay Jaiswal recently launched the 'e-Kamal' website and an election song called 'Modi ji ki leher' featuring party leader and actor Dinesh Lal Yadav 'Nirahua'. The name is rather self explanatory, and the rock-style song extolls the virtues of the Prime Minister and how he focuses on myriad developmental issues and keeps an eye on all issues, without distance becoming a barrier.

The singer adds that the lotus (the symbol of the BJP) will bloom yet again, helping to create an aatma nirbhar Bihar.

Bihar me e baa

If this song sounded familiar to you, that's because it bears a resemblance to Anubhav Sinha and Manoj Bajpayee Bhojpuri rap song, Bambai me 'Bambai Main Ka Ba'. This even prompted a response from the creators, with Sinha taking to Twitter and alleging plagiarism. "The song is a blatant and unabashed copy of a song ‘Bambai Mein Ka Ba’, that I released six weeks back. A song that I own 100% copyright of," he had written,

While Sinha's song had spoken about the plight of migrants in the big city, the BJP sings about the progress in the state of Bihar under the NDA government. It does not seem that the plagiarism allegations have gone any further as the song continues to remain online.

Incidentally, in response to the BJP's campaign song, the Congress had released a song of their own, taking a jibe at the ruling NDA.

Suna ho Bihar ke bhaiya

If you were not sure whether the controversy surrounding the previous song had fazed the BJP, allow us to point you in the direction of their latest musical offering - Suna ho Bihar ke bhaiya. Ironically, this too has a Manoj Bajpayee connection.

Suna ho Bihar ke bhaiya, launched by the party as its new election song, is a straight lift off jiya ho Bihar ke lala, the foot-tapping number from Manoj Bajpayee-starrer Gangs of Wasseypur, which had acquired a cult status upon its release a decade ago.

The party got Delhi MP and Bhojpuri singer Manoj Tiwari to reprise one of his chartbusters, creating a nearly eight minute long song that talks about the the progress made by the state under the NDA rule, badi mushkil se (against various odds).

He goes on to add that if someone says in spite of so many accomplishments Bihar mein ka ba (what does Bihar have to offer) then the person needs to get eyeglasses checked.

Iss bar Tejashwi tai hai

The Rashtriya Janata Dal has kept its campaign song pretty simple, with a catchy tune, speaking about the ills in Bihar at present. These problems, the song says, will be shown their place and removed from the state soon. 'Iss bar Tejashwi tai hai' the song repeatedly proclaims, which roughly translates to 'Tejashwi is certain to win this time'. While the song shows many well known RJD leaders, the Mahagathbandhan chief ministerial candidate, Tejashwi Yadav, is very much the focus of the song, both in lyrics and visually.

The song was launched earlier in October from the RJD party office and attacks the 15 years that have seen Nitish Kumar at the helm of the government. The song brings up myriad comtemporary issues - from the plight of migrants to unemployment, ill heath, education, corruption and more.

Kaa Kiye Ho

Beginning in the style of a news telecast, the Congress' Kaa Kiye Ho is a campaign song that pointedly asks the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government exactly what they have managed to achieve over their tenure. Coming days after the BJP-JD(U) campaign song, 'Bihar me e baa' it targets Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's alleged negligence of arenas such as health, education, law and order. It makes special note of the recent migrant crisis and the Bihar government's response to the same.

"Neither health, nor education, nor employment, nor law and order have been corrected. In 15 years of misrule, you have given only starvation, plight to Bihar," the Congress added in a tweet sharing the video.

Bole Bihar Badle Sarkar

With Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at the helm for 15 years, the Congress and its allies contend that this is now time to change the government. In a new campaign song, the Mahagatbandhan announces that the people of Bihar have spoken, and that a change is imperative.

The video for the song, titled 'Bole Bihar Badle Sarkar' shows Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Congress President Sonia Gandhi as well as Tejashwi Yadav and other alliance leaders. This song too focuses on the migrant crisis and other current issues and accuses the current government of breaking their promises and cheating the people.

Bihar mein kaa ba

While not a campaign tune in the typical sense, this song has been used to take potshots at the ruling NDA. The rap song by Neha Singh Rathore, a bespectacled 20 something from Kaimur district, has become an internet sensation and irked the NDA. 'Bihar mein kaa ba' takes a grim, sardonic view of her home state and she notes that a lot remains to be done despite a decade-and-a-half of sushasan (good governance).

Manoj Bajpayee's Mumbai mein kaa baa had inspired Rathore, who keeps a low profile and reaches out to viewers and listeners through songs which she self-records on her smart phone and uploads on social media. Incidentally, Manoj Tiwari's Suna ho Bihar ke bhaiya is a reaction of sorts that came soon after this song, and appears to take a jibe at those wondering about what the state had to offer. He suggests that such people get their eyeglasses checked.

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