New Delhi, Feb 2: The battle to conquer the throne of Delhi is not just being played out through public rallies, a fierce duel for the crown is being fought parallel on the virtual social media platforms between the contesting trio - AAP, BJP and Congress.
Social media has become the new battleground for political parties to unleash their election propaganda and assimilate young, technology-friendly voters into their fold. Parties have well chalked out plans for tapping this sizable section of vote bank, through their formidable social media cells, an indispensable part of any party's composition.
"We have a 16-member core team based in Delhi who handle the social media of the party. Another 55 members are operating from across the country and abroad. We have 200 active volunteers too," said AAP's social media coordinator Ankit Lal. The three political rivals with over 26 lakhs Twitter followers and 1 crore Facebook likes between them are waging a war through hashtags, tweets, videos and Facebook posts. Every party has a different strategy to handle the virtual war, similar to their different on-field manoeuvres.
The BJP with an army of 1,000 volunteers are engaged in rigorous promotion of their leaders' messages on various social media platforms. "The volunteers mostly working in IT companies and BPOs who have taken two weeks off from work and completely dedicated themselves to the online campaign," said Delhi BJP's communication cell convener Khem Chand Sharma.
"They promote the messages, schemes and policies that are in the BJP national website and also the messages of Kiran Bedi, Narendra Modi and Amit Shah," he said. AAP has an astute mechanism to handle the staggering number of online political aficionados which have resulted in garnering 23 lakhs likes on Facebook and over 11 lakh followers on Twitter.
A holistic, planned methodology is followed to spread the message of the AAP. Each medium is approached separately according to their strengths and characteristics. "Facebook is a broadcast medium and hence the reach people is low. Too much of interaction isn't possible, one can only suggest. Twitter is more organic, it is a more direct medium to engage in discussion, debate and reasoning. It is possible to change public perception through Twitter," said AAP's Lal.