BJP e-army's cyber war

BJP e-army's cyber war

If the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) succeeds in its gamble to contest and occupy power on its own in Maharashtra, a slice of the credit will also go to its dedicated e-army.

The e-army trawled the social media round the clock to effectively campaign for the party. Though not as publicised as their effort was during the Lok Sabha elections, a team of 50 young faceless I-T professionals, ably assisted in content sharing by global BJP sympathisers, was slogging on the virtual world at a Worli war room in Mumbai to politically exploit internet penetration in the country’s business capital. 

On polling day, the war room was still abuzz with the party’s e-campaigners posting “Vote for BJP” on Twitter and Facebook to encourage Maharashtrians to come out and vote in large numbers given the assessment that higher polling would benefit the party which broke its alliance with the Shiv Sena to fight the elections along with other smaller parties. The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have split their alliance to join the multi-cornered fray.

Some tweets and posts said: “There is a competition on who will abuse Modi more. The competition is less on asking votes & more on making allegations on Modi.

“This election is for Maharashtra’s future. You need to think beyond who your MLA will be. Think of how Maharashtra will be. Don’t pull the bow so much that it breaks (Shiv Sena’s election symbol is bow and arrow)”.

The party’s war room worked as a force multiplier for the issues raised by BJP leaders through 715 rallies, including 27 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, held throughout the state.

Interestingly, the virtual world too witnessed bitterness among the separated partners – the BJP and Shiv Sena. Though the Sena was aggressive in targeting the BJP, the latter opted for a caliberated, issue-based and structured response keeping in mind that mindless repartee could lead to counter consolidation of Maratha “manoos” in their estranged partner. 

For instance, the BJP posted an image in Marathi when the seat-sharing tussle was on, challenging the Shiv Sena. The illustration said, “Don’t pull the bow so much that it breaks”. The Sena hit back with another picture saying, “If the arrow leaves the bow it’ll cause destruction of the kamal (BJP symbol lotus)”.

“The cyber war went a notch up with the BJP showing Balasaheb criticising his son and Sena chief Uddhav for the wrong intention of destroying kamal which is so divine, being symbolic of goddess Laxmi with such a pure bow and arrow of Shiv Sena,”  Devang Dave, in charge of BJP’s war room, told Deccan Herald in a long telephonic interview.

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