The Bharatiya Janata Party is known to use the social media extensively during an election campaign. The case this time around too is no different and the BJP's IT cell has spared no effort in using the social media during its campaign in Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Manipur.
Amit Malviya, in-charge of the BJP's national information and technology speaks with OneIndia about the election campaign in the five states. In this candid chat, Malviya says that the BJP's social media foot-print in Uttar Pradesh is most prominent.
UP most prominent:
Malvia says that the engagement levels where the social media is concerned is eight times that of their rivals. "We augmented the social media handles with our national page which has made it even more larger. We have a national network on Whatsapp and have networked this to every constituency. We also have two representatives in every constituency and we will provide digital communication and technology," Malviya says.
Uttarakhand and Whatsapp
"Uttarakhand has been covered through Whatsapp channels. Here we are hoping to dislodge the Congress government. We have 1,600 office bearers who are linked on these channels. In this state the focus is more on the Facebook pages and Whatsapp channels," Malviya adds.
Social media focus on Manipur
Malviya points out that the campaign in Manipur too has a lot of social media focus. "We have a very vibrant campaign running in Manipur. We have a Whatsapp group for every constituency. In fact, there are around 160 volunteers in the state for the social media," he adds.
"The campaigns in Goa and Punjab are already done. In Punjab the social media team's focus was more on those constituencies where the party's candidates were contesting. In Goa we found that Twitter was smaller. While every district was linked to Whatsapp channels there was a lot of emphasis given on the Facebook page as well," Malviya says.
Impact and issue:
In UP, social media is the most dominant. It has the largest number of absolute people on digital channels. We will get to see a lot more traction here," he says. "In those states where we are not in power, we are highlighting the failure of the incumbent government. In UP we are raising the issue of electrification in a big way. The point here is that this has happened not because of the state government but after the BJP came to power at the centre. This was an initiative of the Centre," he adds.
On the demonetisation issue, Malviya points out that those who are unaligned or unaffiliated with the BJP have supported the move. "The support was, in fact, great. We have also used the social media to bring out first person accounts of how supported this move," says the BJP's IT cell in-charge.