Durgapur, Dec. 28: A greeting in the inbox, an eye on the ballot box.
The CPM has found in text messages and emails, technology it used to frown upon, potential tools to reconnect with people in Burdwan who have moved away from the party in the past few years.
The district CPM has decided to send text messages and emails to people on their birthdays and wedding anniversaries. “It is one of the best ways to socialise with people and regain ground before the panchayat polls next year,” a leader said.
The “social networking” will begin soon in Durgapur, which was once a CPM bastion but is now tottering because of a Trinamul onslaught.
“We will try to reach out to as many of the 10 lakh people living here as possible,” another CPM leader said.
He said the CPM had borrowed a “marketing trick” from shop and hotel owners in Calcutta. “Often, they send bouquets or personalised text messages to customers. This is part of sales promotion. We will follow this method so that the electorate keeps us in mind in the future,’’ a CPM district committee member said.
“Highhandedness and impolite behaviour of many of our leaders have hit the party hard. We need to set this right,” he added.
“We don’t know if this will help us regain ground, but it may create a good impression about us,’’ the leader said.
Asked about the Left’s earlier aversion to such technology, he said: “Those days are gone. We need to embrace technology. Look how Narendra Modi used technology while campaigning for the Assembly polls.”
CPM cadres in Durgapur have begun preparing a database by collecting information on families — cellphone numbers, email IDs, birthdays and wedding anniversaries.
“We have decided to send young party sympathisers on door-to-door visits to collect information because they won’t make controversial statements or talk about politics,’’ a CPM leader said.
Asked if residents refuse to give out personal details, the leader said: “Nobody will be forced. Our people will say thanks and leave. Even this will send a positive message.”
The boys and girls will also be asked to “judiciously’’ find out the “mood” of the people and their “opinion” on the Mamata Banerjee government.
But what about rural areas, where many people don’t have cellphones and computers? “There, we will ask our cadres to visit households with bouquets on special days,” the leader said.