How BJP, Congress are getting ready for ‘election war’ on social media

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Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk: As the election commission announced poll dates for Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Mizoram and Telangana, major political parties are getting battle ready for the internet ‘war’ and for it they have deployed social media “warriors” on digital platforms.

The main aim of these social media “warriors” will be to reach out to as many people as they could with the help of social media platforms like Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook.

The BJP’s Rajasthan social media cell in-charge Hirendra Kaushik told PTI the party has deployed one IT cell worker each at 51,000 booths, and 10-member IT teams have been constituted at the division level to reach out to people through WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

These “social media warriors” are making the electorate, especially youths and women, aware of the achievements of the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in the state, Kaushik said.

The party is connected to nearly 14.5 lakh people through WhatsApp and around 6.5 lakh people via Facebook, he said, adding close to 35 lakh people follow Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on her Facebook page.

Keeping in mind the role social media played in the victory of the BJP in the 2004 general elections, the Congress has also decided to make full use of the mass communication tool. The Congress is also making its social media team ready to fight the poll war.

Congress media in-charge in Rajasthan Archana Sharma said the party’s social media cell was inactive in the last assembly election and it has taken steps to reach out to people on digital platforms considering the role the mass medium has played in recent polls in other states.

She said social media is an effective medium to connect with people and its use has increased after 2013.

The BJP used it to spread negativity against the Congress and its leadership, she alleged, adding her party will use it in a positive manner.

Election Dates

The Assembly polls in Rajasthan and other four states will be held between November 12 and December 7. Polling in Rajasthan will be held on December 7. Counting of votes will be taken up in all the five states on December 11.

What Opinion Poll Predicted

The ABP News-CVoter survey has predicted that the Congress may return to power in Rajasthan, where Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje seems to be struggling against a strong anti-incumbency factor.

According to the opinion poll, the BJP is likely to face a major drubbing in Rajasthan which has a 200-member assembly. The party which had won 163 seats in 2013 will be reduced to just 56 seats.

Congress which was limited to measly 21 seats in the previous outing will make a handsome turnaround with 142 seats. Other parties will hang on to two seats, the survey reveals. The poll projection ahead of the election on December 7 could be seen as a major setback for the BJP which is seeking a second term under the leadership of Vasundhara Raje.

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