Congress gets ready to stand up against BJP’s cyber army

  • The BJP uses an army of keyboard warriors but Congress is now following on 
  • Congress is using issue-based campaigns on Facebook and Whatsapp
  • They are also publishing a series of first-hand stories by ‘citizen reporters’ 
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Vice President of India’s Congress Party Rahul Gandhi

Congress has launched a social media blitzkrieg as it readies its candidates’ list and kicks off a full-fledged campaign in poll-bound Gujarat.

From issue-based campaigns on Facebook and Whatsapp to a series of first-hand stories by ‘citizen reporters’, the party’s social media team is on an overdrive to trump PM Narendra Modi’s formidable social media army.

The party has floated at least 20 Facebook pages — official and surrogate — such as Congress ni vikas gatha, Why Only Congress Can Run India, Bhajap No Vikas Gando Thayo Che, Bluffmaster Modi, Feku Man, Can BJP Run India, Vyapari Virodhi Modi and Patidar Virodhi Modi for the purpose.

‘This time we will go big with our social media campaign in the Assembly polls. We have seen much support in the first few days itself.

Our biggest hit so far is the ‘janta ka reporter’ series where the common man reports on ground realities in the state,’ Gujarat IT cell chief Rohan Gupta told Mail Today. 

‘The BJP government made tall promises and delivered nothing on ground. Our volunteers and general people send us videos and pictures highlighting their plight — from civic issues to daily concerns,’ Gupta added.

While write-ups by citizen reporters have lent the campaign an apolitical touch, making it look more like a people’s agitation, the party is looking at platforms such as Facebook and Whatsapp to drum up support for its leaders and candidates.

The BJP uses an army of keyboard warriors but Congress is now following suit

The BJP uses an army of keyboard warriors but Congress is now following suit

‘In Gujarat, Facebook and Whatsapp have the highest reach and hence our main social media campaigns will be on these two platforms.

Our IT teams are collecting database of mobile phone users in every seat,’ Gupta said.

‘According to our estimate, there are roughly 50,000 mobile connections per constituency and our target is to reach at least 50 per cent of this and be in regular touch with them,’ he added.

But even as the social media teams are working round-the-clock, the party is still grappling with a section of leadership that is not tech savvy.

‘Over the past few months, we have been conducting workshops every 15 days for our office bearers and MLAs.

Once the candidates are announced, we will start working with them. Each candidate will be assigned two members from the social media or IT cell teams, who will travel with them throughout their campaign and post live-updates,’ Gupta said.