The Telegraph
Saturday , December 29 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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CPM wishes Happy B’day

Durgapur, Dec. 28: A wish in the inbox, an eye on the ballot box.

The Burdwan CPM has found in text messages and emails, technology it used to frown on, potential tools to reconnect with people 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 Trinamul onslaught. The CPM lost to Trinamul both Assembly constituencies in Durgapur and also the Durgapur Municipal Corporation.

“We will start the social networking from Durgapur. 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 by shop owners who want to maintain his or her clientele regardless of whether subsequent purchases are made. We will follow this method so that the electorate keeps us in mind in the future,’’ a CPM district committee member said.

He said top leaders such as Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had repeatedly asked cadres to go back to the people, admit the party’s mistakes and reconnect with them. “Highhandedness and impolite behaviour of many of our leaders have hit the party hard. We need to set this right,” the district committee member said.

“Our leaders have asked us to get close and personal with the people. After discussions, our district unit came up with the idea of sending text messages and emails wishing people on their birthdays and marriage anniversaries,’’ the leader said.

“We don’t know if this will help us to regain ground, but it may create a good impression. People will come to know that we don’t hanker for votes but strive to maintain personal relationships,’’ he added.

Asked about the Left’s earlier aversion to such technology, the leader said: “Those days are gone.”