"Candidates have started booking us for dance shows to lure voters and to keep the morale of the party workers high," said Chandni (name changed), a bar dancer from Mumbai as reported by the Times of India.
"In the past few days, there has been a huge increase in calls being made to us by the clients (read politicians), who want bar dancers to entertain gatherings at their shows," said the co-ordinator of one such bar dancers' group.
"We have been provided with good accommodation besides other perks," he added.
"Not only in the industrial town, with elections round the corner, there have been a huge rise in the demand for bar dancers all over the state. It is mostly small-time leaders in small towns who are splurging money to make a fortune in the polls," he further informed.
"I have a group of 23 dancers, including local girls and few from Mumbai. They are all booked as of now for dance shows by various political candidates. I have been maintaining a diary with details of advance amount being paid to us by various political parties that are keen on organizing such shows to lure voters ahead of assembly elections," said Shiva, who organises these kind of shows.
He further said that apart from big parties, small parties and independent parties also used the trick to attract more voters.
Girls who worked on meager salary readily accepted the offer to go to UP, where the election fever is gripping up, when offered better pay, he said.
"Bar dancers from Mumbai are being paid no less than Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 per show, exclusive of tips, whereas male dancers, who are hired locally and their job is to fuel the atmosphere with their antics along with their female counterparts, charge between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000," he added.
The girls usually dance to Bhojpuri or Bollywood numbers in skimpy outfits along with their male counterparts and often invite public to join them in the merrymaking.
Meanwhile, in what was termed by the BJP as cheap tactics to lure voters, local Samajwadi Party leaders on the eve of Makar Sankranti organised a "dance gathering" on Saturday, Jan 14. Reports reveal that the crowd after seeing the girls in skimpy clothes went out of control. The show was reportedly called off after some locals informed the Kalyanpur police.
"Allegations made by the BJP leaders are totally false. The dance programme was organized by the Poorvanchal Mahasabha and not by the SP," said Chandresh Singh, city Samajwadi Party president.