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Tech tools to attract voters

Shillong, Jan. 29: Bill Gates may be miles away from the abode of clouds, but his Microsoft applications are in full use in Meghalaya, as electioneering is no longer about sloganeering alone.

The spoken word can no longer be the numero uno to attract and convince voters why they should vote in your favour. The times have changed with technology, and how.

Indeed, technology in electoral politics has become the “apple” of the eyes of some of the young candidates who are in the fray for the February 23 Assembly polls.

Laptops, tablets, and LCD projectors are the tools the younger generation are relying on to educate and attract voters.

They do not seem to believe in what Boyzone alone had opined: “It’s only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away...

Words still rule, but these are now being projected through LCD projectors against the white screen to convince voters why they should vote for the young whose reliability on Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and others is legend.

Take the case of Teibor Pathaw, an Independent candidate from Mawlai constituency, which has the maximum number of voters in the state. Each time Pathaw addresses a gathering, his campaign team projects his vision and ideas on the white screen through PowerPoint presentations.

“Through PowerPoint presentations, I highlight everything that is connected with Mawlai — its geography, topography, demography and the like,” Pathaw, an entrepreneur, told this correspondent.

He also enlightens the people about the MLA Scheme, where each of the 60 legislators receive an amount from the state government on an annual basis, which should be spent on their respective constituencies according to their discretion, but by following specific guidelines.

According to Pathaw, the government sanctions Rs 1,17,50,000 annually for the legislators.

“I educate the people about this scheme and its components. They are also being enlightened on other state and central schemes,” he added.

Through the presentations, the aspiring legislator also spells out his vision for the constituency and his people. Of course, a scrutiny of the performance of the sitting legislator is something which Pathaw does not leave out from the presentations.

Another young aspirant, Telinia Thangkhiew, does not miss to carry either her laptop or tablet while campaigning in Mylliem constituency.

“I tell my people about the MLA Scheme and how it is being implemented in the constituency,” she said.

According to her, technology plays a crucial role, especially in connecting with the young voters who are alive to the realities in cyber space and the latest applications offered by Microsoft.

Perhaps, through PowerPoint presentations, laptops and tablets, people are able to grasp better about the pre-poll and post-poll nuances.

Technology, in more ways than one, has been the bridge between the educated and the illiterate not only in India, but also across the globe. It largely defies barriers while trying to reach out to the masses.

As the young aspirants resort to a paperless campaign to prove why they can make a difference, it will only be known on February 28 as to what extent technology has made the difference.


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