|BJP member Tushar Vijayvargiya (in pink shirt) educates voters on social networking at a makeshift party kiosk in Kokar, Ranchi, on Wednesday; and a grab (above) of the Jharkhand Congress’s Facebook page. Picture by Prashant Mitra
nUljhane sari mita do, kam sare nipta do, Bharat ke navnirman mein, NaMo nam ki inth lagani hai, do hum lagate hai, do tum laga do — BJP Jharkhand State on Facebook
nIndia’s infrastructure story isn’t just about the roads we built, the railway lines we laid down, or the airports we inaugurated, it is about the number of lives we changed — Jharkhand Youth Congress on Facebook
The Lok Sabha campaign war is getting a smart edge in Ranchi with major political camps opening happy-to-help kiosks for voters and urging them to access social networking sites or text messaging mobile applications to know the country’s prospective leaders up close.
Wednesday saw a group of BJP workers counselling passers-by in Kokar on the benefits of joining Facebook and Twitter or downloading WhatsApp on their phones before April 17, the D-Day for Ranchi constituency.
“We are ourselves associated with Narendra Modiji (BJP’s prime ministerial nominee) via Facebook (BJP Jharkhand State page) and are asking people to do the same. If voters are able to connect with the leader, they will definitely come out to vote in his favour, which will help boost the turnout,” said Tushar Vijayvargiya, the in-charge of BJP’s networking kiosk at Kokar.
“Voters should know candidates and their political agenda, which is only possible through these social sites. A new NaMo number (7820078200) has been generated too,” he added.
Besides manning the spot awareness camps, Vijayvargiya is also organising public meetings. “So far, we have apprised 5,000 voters of their booth names and numbers,” he said.
The Congress too has parted ways with traditional forms of campaigning. Anup Singh, the president of Jharkhand Pradesh Youth Congress said they were connecting with people through WhatsApp, which allows one to broadcast messages.
“We are also training party workers on how to use social networking platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Till now, 3,300 have been taught to update and share Congress activities on the wall of these sites,” Singh said.
The party hasn’t opened a helpdesk like arch-rival BJP.
Ajsu spokesperson Deosharan Bhagat said they would release the party’s manifesto on Thursday, while their Facebook page has already earned 54 likes. “Besides public meetings and door-to-door campaigns, social networking is helping us connect with Young Ranchi better,” Bhagat added.
While Ajsu’s Facebook page features party chief and MP hopeful from Ranchi Sudesh Mahto, BJP’s Ram Tahal Choudhary and Congress’s Subodh Kant Sahay have their social accounts too.