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India party adopts Slumdog song

Slumdog Millionaire
Jai Ho won the Best Song award at the Oscars

India's governing Congress party has acquired the rights to Jai Ho - the Oscar-winning song from the movie Slumdog Millionaire.

Party officials say the song will be used as part of the election campaign to publicise Congress achievements.

The general election in India will take place between 16 April and 13 May. Counting is due on 16 May.

British director Danny Boyle's Slumdog, based in the slums of the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay), won eight Oscars.

'Performed well'

Bollywood composer AR Rahman and lyricist Gulzar won the Best Song Oscar for Jai Ho, literally meaning victory.

With its catchy tune and uplifting lyrics, Jai Ho has become immensely popular with the public in India.

Congress Party spokesman Manish Tiwari told the BBC the achievements of the government deserved to be saluted and the song best explained that.

"Our party has performed well, be it in governance or in its pro-poor policies," Mr Tiwari said.

But a senior leader of the main opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Prakash Javdekar, told Reuters news agency: "This song will ensure their defeat because it will remind every Indian that millions of people still have to stay in slums because of faulty Congress policies."

Congress officials and T-Series - which holds the song's copyright - are tight-lipped about the amount of money that has been paid for the song.

Popular Bollywood numbers are often re-jigged by political parties in India to convey their message to voters.

Words set to popular film tunes can often be heard blaring from loudspeakers at election rallies.

At the forthcoming polls, the main contest is expected to be between Congress and the BJP.

If no group wins a clear majority, the smaller regional parties could play a crucial role.



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