Congress to ride airwaves to serenade its voters

The state unit of the Congress party had connected all its district offices with Internet facility during Assembly elections in December 2007.

Written by Syed Khalique Ahmed | Ahmedabad | Published:March 8, 2009 5:00 am

Grand old party to bank heavily on new-age communication tools

The state unit of the Congress party had connected all its district offices with Internet facility during Assembly elections in December 2007. Now with the General Elections in Gujarat scheduled for April 30,the party plans to utilise FM radio,SMS and email services in its campaign.

Earlier,the Election Commission of India (ECI) had enforced a ban on the use of privately-owned FM stations for campaign purposes during the elections. The EC has now lifted the ban.

As all major towns like Ahmedabad,Vadodara,Surat and Rajkot have FM radio services,the Congress plans to use them to propagate its political ideology among the young voters who not only form about 50 per cent of the total electorate in the state,but also constitute the primary client base of FM radio. Each FM station covers a radius of 70 km,and the party hopes to cover even the rural areas with the help of this service.

The party is also planning to use SMS and email services. Gujarat has the largest tele-density in the country and majority of the youth use cellphones and are Internet savvy. The party hopes to reap rich electoral dividends by using them.

Party spokesperson Manish Doshi,when asked about the email and cell phone data,said: “We have a huge email and cell phone database and we hope to cover a large chunk of the population through emails and SMSes.”

Regarding FM radio,Doshi said it is a big craze among youngsters and they could be easily approached through this mode of communication.

“We are negotiating with the FM radio operators about their charges,and once it is sorted out,we will start airing our election messages,” he added.

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