On social media, parties go aggressive to woo voters ahead of elections

On social media, parties go aggressive to woo voters ahead of elections

If Facebook ‘likes’ is a measure of a party’s popularity, the BJP will win the Lok Sabha elections in the State hands down as it has an impressive 90,816 likes, followed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Karnataka with 24,713 likes.

The ruling Congress comes a distant third with 20,945 likes whereas the JD(S) has just 196 likes. It will be, however, nothing but pure speculation if these ‘likes’ can translate into votes.

The three major parties in the State, besides the fledgling AAP, have all started touching their peak in terms of online campaigning. A look at their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts suggests that each of them is trying its best to woo the users of social networking sites ahead of the elections.

While the Congress is trying to control the damage done by the “misinformation” being propagated about the UPA rule, the BJP is aggressively pushing the Narendra Modi “charisma” on its Karnataka page.

Taking a national angle, the BJP has been urging the voters to look at the decade of “misgovernment” by the UPA and vote for Modi by giving it 272+ members in the Lok Sabha. Its FB page is adorned with nothing but pictures and cartoons of Modi and his rallies. On Twitter, the party has been updating the information given by its Lok Sabha candidates in the State. This apart, it is carrying what its national leaders’ take on the elections.

On its part, the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has been trying to publicise the “achievements” of the UPA regime and those of the Congress government in the State.

“Our primary objective is to counter the Opposition’s misinformation campaign about the UPA regime. We are also trying to bring to voters’ knowledge our achievements,” claimed Hussain, a secretary of the KPCC and in-charge of its communication cell. The KPCC has formed a 90-member team to work on the social media and online campaign.

On March 17, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will interact via social media with party units across the country. The conversation will be restricted to party workers, up to the taluk level.

The JD(S) has, however, stuck to the basic style of canvassing it had experimented in the 2013 Assembly elections. JD(S) sources say the party will send to voters voice recordings of a short, personalised message by its leader H D Kumaraswamy. The message is ‘Matha Haki, Karnataka Ulisi’ (Please Vote, Save Karnataka).

The AAP’s social media campaign, however, is completely different. The party will publish the common man’s anecdotes about its candidates.

“The anecdotes about our candidates, which the common man sends us after meeting them, will be published on our Facebook page. We will also provide a real-time update on Twitter about the canvassing by our candidates in every constituency,” said Anupreeth, in charge of social networking, AAP.  The moot point, however, is whether the AAP would be able to provide regular updates as these would depend mainly on its followers’ voluntary contribution.

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