THE CLOSE fight BJP gave to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in his traditional family seat Amethi in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, it seems, was just a beginning.
The party, led by Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani who lost to Rahul in a close contest, is silently working on creating a pro-BJP atmosphere in all five Assembly segments of Amethi by “connecting” residents to Prime Minister Narendra Modi through social media.
In her last visit to Amethi on Sunday, Irani held a closed-door meeting with party’s district unit of Information Technology (IT) cell and directed the workers to ensure that at least 50,000 people download “Narendra Modi Mobile App” on their mobile phones as soon as possible.
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The app brings latest information, instant updates and helps those who use it to contribute towards various tasks. It also enables a person to receive messages and emails directly from Modi.
The IT Cell workers have also been tasked with ensuring that maximum people in the Lok Sabha constituency create account on micro-blogging site Twitter and follow Prime Minister on his handle.
On Irani’s directive, the IT cell has created a WhatsApp group that includes local party unit leaders along with HRD Minister’s personal assistant Vijay Gupta as members. Gupta is frequent visitor to Amethi where he reportedly meets party leaders and public on local issues.
The WhatsApp group called ‘Core IT Team Amethi’ has been created so that party workers could upload pictures and information about local civic problems related to development and infrastructure or other personal grievances of local villagers. Gupta will look into these issues and coordinate with the government officials concerned for redressal of the problems.
Of the five Assembly seats in Amethi, two — Jagdishpur and Tiloi — are represented by Congress while BJP has no MLA there. BJP had last registered a victory there in 2002 when Amita Singh had won from Amethi Assembly seat on party ticket. She is now in Congress.
As BJP nominee, Irani had given a tough competition to Rahul in Lok Sabha polls losing by just over 1 lakh votes. Since then, she has been visiting the constituency regularly. On her last visit, she had distributed radios among 25 Dalits and backward caste villagers so that they could listen to PM’s ‘Mann ki Baat’ programme.
BJP Amethi district IT cell convener Atul Tripathi said that teams of active workers will visit different blocks and tell the villagers that they could get information about the central government’s schemes through “Narendra Modi Mobile App”.
Tripathi said that party workers will help download the App on mobile phones of those interested in having it. “Likewise, Twitter account of more party workers and general public will be created. People will be told that the mobile App and Twitter account could be good mediums to connect with PM directly and get problems resolved because PM himself remains active on Twitter,” Tripathi said.
He said that when IT cell workers will move in fields, they will collect information about bad quality of roads, lack of hand pumps and drinking water facility and other civic problems. They will post the information of these problems along with photographs in the WhatsApp group. “For example, loss of property in fire incidents happens often in rural areas in summer season. Photographs of such sites and victims will be posted in the group so that information could be communicated to senior authorities as soon as possible and relief is provided timely,” he said.