Smaller parties have demanded ‘equitable poster distribution system’ in BMC polls

Even with over 6 months away from the BMC Elections 2017, a bitter war on posters has erupted between political parties.

Alleging unparalleled dominance by bigger parties, including the Shiv Sena, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), several smaller political caucuses have demanded “equitable distribution” of posters in every ward of the city.

“Some parties have asked whether the state election commission can employ the rule of equitable distribution of posters in Mumbai ahead of the civic polls. They (political parties) have expressed their discontentment over the stronger ones snatching away prime spots and areas in the city, brandishing their own candidates,” a senior state government official said.

The unique demand — equitable poster distribution — pressed for by the parties stems from the whole psychological reasoning and alleged effects of how political advertising manipulates and helps reap electoral success.

Parties are battling and will continue to battle to cash in on the recognition factor with the voters ahead of the polls.

The theory goes that the more frequently the voter sees the faces of prospective candidates, the better they will recognise them on polling day and form positive feelings towards them.

Samajwadi Party group leader Rais Shaikh, on the other hand, commended the demand, calling it an equal opportunity for all. “This is very welcoming. Equitable distribution of posters in every ward will give every candidate from all contesting parties an equal opportunity,” he added.