With the Lok Sabha polls round the corner, the social media especially Facebook has become a platform for the candidates to campaign to seek votes from the voters, especially youth. Candidates vying with one another are using the virtual world as a base to advertise their credentials.
Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha constituency Congress candidate Jayaprakash Hegde is one of politicians who is very active on Facebook. His Facebook page ‘Jayaprakash Hegde’ has 17,460 likes. The cover photo says “For whom development is not just a mantra, but proven a track record.”
The Facebook timeline highlights the achievement of Hegde as a Fisheries Minister, state government and as a MP for the last one year 11 months.
On the day of filing nomination, his timeline read “My conviction is for Udupi-Chikmagalur to continue it’s journey on the fast track to development. As promised in the by-elections of 2012, I have worked hard and done my level best in the limited period of 1 year and 11 months. I am seeking your support and blessings as I file my nomination for the Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha elections.”
On the other hand, ‘BJP DK page’ has 600 likes. It has photo of Modi addressing rally as cover photo. BJP IT Cell Mangalore Facebook page has 838 likes and 1,585 talking about this. It speaks on campaign for growth oriented, corruption-free, and strong willed leader at the Centre.
“It speaks on the development works initiated by its candidate Nalin Kumar Kateel in the last five years, Modi rally in Mangalore, MP report card - Nalin Kateel ranked 24th, Rahul Gandhi 355th in the list of members of parliament based on perception score, parliament performance, and expenditure under MPs Local Area Development Fund, star campaigners like Tejaswini Gowda, Tara, Malavika campaigning at various parts of the district.
In the Facebook page of Nalin Kumar Kateel, he appeals the voters to extend support and cooperation. On the day of filing nomination, it read: “I am immensely grateful and humbled to have the opportunity to contest from DK. This is a milestone for me, the people of DK as well as of Karnataka. After the most disastrous decade in post independence, India is looking forward to a dawn of hope and resurrection under the proficient leadership of Narendra Modi of BJP. I believe that public service is incumbent on all of us. It does not need to be a career but instead, something we all contribute. By making the community nicer for others, we make it nicer for us.”
In one of the timeline, Congress candidate Janardhan Poojary asks the voters as whether they want a person who fights for communal harmony or the one who sows seed on hatred. Your vote is your right and let us be a part of development.”
The Facebook has photos for preparations for LS polls, public meetings, campaigns in different parts of the district. The Facebook page of U T Khader also highlights campaign for Janardhan Poojary.
The Facebook page of AAP reads: “Leaders of political parties talk big things about ‘Women Empowerment’. Its the little deeds that matter!!!.” It also has photos of number of women candidates fielded by AAP, BJP and the Conrgress.
It also has photo on AAP volunteers using waste paper for preparing campaign material. AAP candidate for the constituency Vasudeva Rao appeals to the voters to vote for ‘Pramanikathe and naija rajakarana.’ (honesty and true politics) “We have already given enough and more opportunities for Cong and BJP in Mangalore. This time let us vote for AAP,” the Facebook page said.
The page of Shobha karandlje is followed by 13,013 people. The BJP Udupi-Chikmagalur page has photos of Shobha Karandlaje and other leaders campaign in the constituency. The cover photo of Modi reads: ‘Let us work together to make mission 272 plus a reality.’
The Youth Congress Facebook page in DK has also kept the party’s image and ideologies alive in the social media. The JD(S) and the SDPI, independent candidate Sudata Jain too have quite a presence on social media. However, except for a few barely noticeable contents, their online campaign is limited.