Political parties gear up for IT war in Telangana

Finalising social media strategy for campaign and apps for cadre.

Hyderabad: Telangana is becoming a virtual battleground for IT cells of political parties. Having a dedicated IT wing and making considerable noise on social media is becoming an important strategy for political parties.

The Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are already putting in place social media convenors starting from polling booth level to the state level. IT wings in these parties are advancing on par with other wings.

TPCC in defining its social media strategy has come up with an app called Shakti to make sure there is two-way communication betwe-en the president and the karyakartas or party workers.

Nalamada Padmavathi Reddy, TPCC MLA and a member of the Shakti team, said, “Through this app, we will have a database of all our workers and every person is accounted for in a vertical and linear form of occupation. It is an assurance and freedom to a party worker that they can access PCC and a mechanism for the party president to reach out to everyone using simple clicks. For all the constituencies, we are populating the data and are uploading onto the Shakti app.”

The BJP already has an app for its president K. Laxman, through wh-ich information regarding party affairs is disseminated till the booth level. “Verticalisation is not yet there. The BJP IT cell is currently horizontal and through convenors, all issues that come to the notice of the parties are addressed,” said Venkat Ramana, convenor of the Telangana BJP IT cell.

While the TPCC is also deploying volunteers, starting from the booth level, and will soon come out with the strategy and rules for them on social media, the BJP has already defined rules for its social media volunteers and is training them to replicate the Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat models. An IT workshop was conducted for the social media co-ordinators on Saturday regarding the Dos and Don’ts in social media in the presence of national IT cell convenor Amit Malviya.

“The BJP in Telangana will move forward in 2019 elections with focus on social media. The vikas agenda has to go to villages through social media. The BJP will spread message about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s achievements and welfare activities and highlight the failures of the TRS. Since there is one year for elections, social media convenors have to penetrate in a systematic way, based on the guidelines from the national IT cell,” said Dr Laxman.

Parties believe that using social media is important because they do not have their own channels. Ms Padmavati said social media cannot be ignored in today’s world. “The number of people in the age group of 18-30 watching TV is less. It is a very big percentage which certainly cannot be ignored.”

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has Facebook pages and twitter handles but they have been confined to one-way communication. According to sources, they are yet to define their social media strategy, but will do so soon.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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