Now, J&K parties use technology to attract voters

With Lok Sabha elections drawing closer, political parties in Jammu and Kashmir are using social networking sites and mobile phones to reach out to the voters, apart from the traditional style of campaigning.

Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, blogs, YouTube channels and Whatsapp groups have been created by different political parties for canvassing for the Lok Sabha polls, commencing April 10.

Taking the lead, State Congress has setup a separate ‘Special Control Room’ at its party headquarters in Jammu to monitor election activities on the Internet. It has dedicated landline, wi-fi and broadband connectivity and trained staff to monitor the online campaigning.

Several pages and accounts have been created for the party candidates on social networking websites with regular updates.

Neeraj Gupta, who heads Congress social media cell, said this time the state unit of the party has created its own IT cell in J&K. “Traditional approach of politics apart, we are using the information technology to provide campaign material at the grassroots level,” he said.

State Bharatiya Janata Party has also started a separate IT cell in Jammu. Jaidev Rajwal, head of the cell, said the party had started intensive campaign on social networking sites some three years ago and “on an average 70 lakh visitors browse the Facebook pages of Jammu and Kashmir BJP on a daily basis.”

State’s principal Opposition, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), may not have a dedicated IT cell, but the party leaders have been extensively using social media and websites to woo voters.

PDP chief spokesman Naem Akhtar, who never lets a chance to bash the ruling National Conference on his Facebook page, has been recently sharing links of stories filed by different newspapers related to elections.

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