The Telegraph
Monday , June 30 , 2014
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Social media pulse for state polls
5 entrants to Cong e-cell

Congress social media cell members at their Dhaiya office in Dhanbad on Sunday. Picture by Gautam Dey

Dhanbad, June 29: The Dhanbad unit of the Congress has begun its preparations for the coming Assembly polls with special emphasis on social media to connect with citizens, particularly young voters.

The party today inducted five new members in its social media cell at Dhaiya to use online tools effectively for gauging public mood.

Rashid Imran Khan, Shakti Singh, Ajit Kumar Mahto, Abu Darda and Dipankar Kumar — the new members — will assist social media cell in-charge Vaibhav Sinha to update the Dhanbad unit’s official pages on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc.

Sinha, who led the virtual campaign in the district during Lok Sabha polls, said this will help the party mainly target voters in the age group of 18-23.

“The general election in 2014 was the first time when social media played such an important role and its significance will only grow in days to come. It is not only a source of information but also allows us to feel local pulse,” he said.

Sinha added more than 5,000 people had joined the campaign of the district Congress on Facebook, while another 1,000 had liked updates during Lok Sabha polls. Data collected from search engine Google revealed that more than 1.5 lakh users had visited the district Congress’s various social media sites, he added.

The new members would help the leadership with much-needed inputs to develop a strategy for Assembly polls in Dhanbad district, which comprises six Vidhan Sabha seats of Jharia, Dhanbad, Sindri, Nirsa, Baghmara and Tundi.

From Google Hangouts to Twitter, the party plans to utilise a variety of virtual tools to upload details of work done by the party — from panchayat to block and district level — and garner support.

“Apart from propagating the party’s vision and achievements, social media will also help us counter any negative campaign carried out by any rival political group,” Sinha added.