A picture from Ashok Baraik’s Facebook account
Unlike contemporary chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Akhilesh Yadav, Hemant Soren seems to have a Facebook account he doesn’t touch. Despite virtual roses of a fan on July 13 on becoming Jharkhand’s chief minister, he is still listed as the state’s deputy chief minister.
Some ward councillors of RMC seem to be doing better.
“I asked the civic body (RMC) to clean up a pond in my area. A few days ago, while it was being done, I got pictures clicked and uploaded them on Facebook. I’ve also put pictures of camps that I organised for putting citizens on the voter list,” said Ashok Baraik, councillor of ward No. 28, Dibdih area near Ashok Nagar.
Baraik, the tablet-toting alumnus of Marwari College, is probably the most tech-savvy among the new lot of 55 ward councillors and knows how being wired helps him connect to a youthful voter base.
Even when Baraik came to the district collectorate to file his nomination papers for the RMC poll, he checked his name on the voter list on the Internet unlike others who went through files.
He’s also happy to see more ward councillors get on FB.
“Right now, we are three ward councillors on Facebook, while at least 10 of us are email-savvy,” he said.
Baraik apart, others are councillor of ward No. 37 (Harmu area) Arun Kumar Jha and RMC deputy mayor Sanjiv Vijayvargia.
“I am on Facebook for the past three years. Right now, as a ward councillor, I can see how my Facebook account helps connect with others regarding my works and ideas,” Jha, a history postgraduate from Ranchi University, said.
“I’ve uploaded Karma pictures on FB,” he added with a grin. “I want others to know about Jharkhand’s unique eco-friendly festival.”
Unlike Baraik, Jha does not have a tablet. He checks out his email and FB through his phone while on the move. “I also have a desktop at home,” he said.
Deputy mayor Vijayvargia also uses his FB account to publicise his work and initiatives.
In the last lot of ward councillors, only two — A.S. Deol and Rajesh Kumar Gupta — used emails.
“Interest in information technology has indeed grown among civic leaders. Though many councillors are learning basics such as saving contact numbers on cellphones, I am sure our tech-savvy attitude will encourage others,” Jha said.