As the country (and the world) goes through its biggest crisis in decades, Bhartiya Janta Party has decided to hold 'virtual rallies' in Bihar ahead of state elections that are supposed to happen later this year.
Called Bihar-Jansamvad, these rallies are aimed to reach millions of people through thousands of LED screens placed at various spots across the state.
This is especially for people who don't have smartphones and hence the access to the internet.
This step from the party has garnered a lot of criticism, though, as it apparently cost ₹144 crore to set up 72,000 of these screens: A claim made by the opposition.
This money could have easily been used for the migrant workers pouring in the state in large numbers but the government's priorities seem to be a bit different.
Can someone calculate rent for 72000 LED ?— Vikram Saxena (@avsviks) June 8, 2020
I guess this was what the PM Care Fund was for or was it for 72000 LED's? pic.twitter.com/S7BWLGRtuV— Thor62 (@KThor62) June 8, 2020
A state where thousands of penniless migrants returned frm all over the country .A state which is under the burden of feeding and giving employment to millions,all of a sudden is spending money on 72000 LED.What else can make someone more upset than such kind of disturbing news? pic.twitter.com/S2aQkyPpBN— KD Jhaa (@KDJhaMRA) June 7, 2020
Hard to believe that a party that could organise 72000 LED screens and carry off a virtual election rally perfectly could fumble so badly when it came to sending migrant labour back home systematically— Prosenjit Datta (@ProsaicView) June 8, 2020
Demand : ₹72000 in every deserving citizen's account.— deshraj meena (@deshraj14894177) June 8, 2020
Supply : 72000 LED screen pic.twitter.com/3PnxIySpwK
Meanwhile the BJP has denied that the cost/number of the LEDs was so high. In one report, the estimate is 20,000 LED screens, whereas another stated the numbers to be: 10,000 LEDs + 50,000 TV screens.
That's not the point though. Whatever the number of screens and their cost is, we know for sure that it's high. This money could have been used for the immediate problems the people of the state are facing.
Our team distributed Food packets including snacks and water bottles to Migrant workers at YMCA grounds Mumbai.— Waris Pathan (@warispathan) May 31, 2020
They all are waiting to return to their hometown Bihar. pic.twitter.com/VfBpoMREQx
In his speech Amit Shah also said that these virtual address was not for elections :
This rally has nothing to do with elections. The BJP believes in democracy. In the corona crisis, we cannot forget our tradition of public contact.
Well, okay then. But why is there no public contact with other states?
Today, Shri @AmitShah ji addressed the people of Bihar through video conferencing.#बिहार_जनसंवाद was a unique way of reaching out to the people of Bihar while following all social distancing protocols of #Covid_19 pic.twitter.com/Y0wAyPFwFE— Syed Shahnawaz Hussain (@ShahnawazBJP) June 7, 2020