BJP to have ‘cyber warriors’ to fight polls

BJP to have ‘cyber warriors’ to fight polls

The BJP is all set to take its social media campaign to the next level ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

The party is planning to appoint “cyber warriors” for each of the 56,000 plus polling booths spread across 28 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.

These “cyber warriors” are volunteers or party workers who shall use social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Twitter to reach out to the voters and spread awareness about the initiatives of the Modi government among others.

A communication on the concept of “cyber warriors” from the central leadership is likely to reach the state unit later this month, a senior party functionary said.

Basically, the BJP has always had a strong social media presence. For instance, the party created 10,000 WhatsApp groups to target individual voters in the run-up to the Assembly polls earlier this year.

Now, as part of its micro-level poll strategy, the party is looking at making one worker or one volunteer incharge of a polling booth. The functionary said training programmes on using the internet and social media as a campaign tool will be organised in the coming months. “In all, we are planning to have an army or 56,000 cyber warriors before the Lok Sabha polls,” the functionary added.

The “warriors” will be trained to use social media to disseminate information about the achievements of the Centre, “failures” of the ruling JD(S)-Congress coalition government in the state and also link voters with the party. They will also be assigned the task of keeping an online tab on the voters’ list of the polling booth assigned to them.

The concept is somewhat similar to “page pramukh” which the party put in place for the Assembly polls. Here, a party worker was made in charge of every page of the voters’ list at the booth-level.

“Page pramukhs” ran the campaign by holding a meeting in person with every individual voter, whose name figures in the page assigned to them and “cyber warriors” will do the same job - the only difference is that it will be done online.

BJP sources said a call centre will soon be set up in Bengaluru to verify the identity and update the database of booth committee chairpersons. Once this is done, each chairperson will be asked to identify a dedicated volunteer or worker, who will don the roll of a “cyber warrior” of that polling booth.

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