Sitting cross-legged in a starched white kurta, Dayaram Raikwar moves the bellows on his harmonium with dexterity, chanting about subsidized toilets, clean water, debt relief for farmers, emancipation for women, and the rule of law.

Raikwar, a farmer and devotional singer, is one of thousands of door-to-door volunteers who’ve been expanding the reach of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) well beyond its traditional urban base.

With national elections less than a month away, campaigning has dialed up here in the Hindi-speaking heartland. His small troupe find eager listeners for their political speeches and musical performances in and around southern Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most populous state and one of its poorest.