BJP leads in social media canvassing in Dharwad

BJP leads in social media canvassing in Dharwad

Looks like Pralhad Joshi, BJP’s candidate from Dharwad Lok Sabha constituency running for a fourth straight term, has taken the lead in using the virtual world to reach the voters.

The BJP’s well-oiled election machinery has ensured that the party’s ideology and candidates reach the maximum number of people on the virtual world, whereas the grand-old party of India, the Congress, is yet to decide on how to go about and enhance its vote-base through the social media platform.

Prashanth Jadhav, the BJP’s state social media executive member who heads the hi-tech group of Dharwad Lok Sabha constituency for the party, says that there are nearly 100 members working in the IT cell in Dharwad alone, which generates content for the party and candidate.

There are 20 volunteers working at the Lok Sabha constituency-level, and 10 each in the eight Assembly constituencies. These volunteers, who constitute graphic designers, content writers, video makers, cameramen, video editors, translators, computer experts, and others, prepare the content and share it on the WhatsApp groups, Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram and other social media groups of the leaders.

Jadav said, as of now, the party has created 1,600 WhatsApp groups, and each group has a minimum of 50 members to a maximum of 245 members.

Apart from this, the hi-tech group broadcasts messages to 800 members. The call centre volunteers regularly ‘remind’ these WhatsApp groups members, asking them to circulate the content among other groups too.

On Facebook, the BJP IT cell has created five official pages including ‘BJP for better Hubballi-Dharwad,’ ‘BJP Hubballi-Dharwad,’ and an official page of Joshi. While the first two pages have more than 6,000 followers, Joshi’s official page is being followed by 1.9 lakh people. Whereas, Congress candidate Vinay Kulkarni is being followed by just 59,000 people.

Jadav claimed that they have received strict instructions from Joshi that only content which is backed by authentic figures should be circulated in the WhatsApp groups.

“We can challenge anyone to prove us wrong. Whatever has been circulated on social media is 100% true and is no exaggeration,” he said.

Apart from charts and details of development works done by Joshi, the hi-tech cell broadcasts live speeches of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and within half an hour translated versions of Modi’s speeches is shared on social media, he said.

The party looks to take its outreach a step forward and use the government App - National Voters Service Portal - which would give access to new voters, so as to reach them. On the other hand, the Congress is yet to formulate its plans on social media use.

“We are holding a meeting soon to decide who will handle the social media,” said Hubballi-Dharwad city district Congress committee president Altaf Hallur.