Padayatras,door-to-door campaigns and public rallies are the second choice for some senior political leaders in Karnataka who have realised the impact social media can make on people today and have quickly opened accounts on Facebook and Twitter.
While social media provides politicians an additional platform to campaign,the real competition is who gets the maximum hits.
Young politicians like Krishna Byregowda and Priya Krishna,both Congress,have had accounts for long but their party veterans like G Parameshwara and Siddaramaiah have opened accounts just weeks before the poll process started,as also Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and his deputy R Ashoka.
However,most of them do not operate their accounts personally or reply to the comments,they are managed by professionals hired for the purpose.
Ashoka is candid enough to admit that he does not operate his account on a day-to-day basis.
Some experts in Basavanagudi are doing voluntary service and are operating his page which has got considerable hits ever since it went live a few weeks ago.
Health Minister Arvind Limbavali who has been popular in the social media going by the hits he has received,says this mode of communication has helped him reach out to many segments of society.
With his friends’ list crossing 5,000,he has opened a new account.
Pictures of politicians as the “good samaritan” doing social work and involving themselves in humanitarian service are their biggest USP on social media.
One such picture that has got many comments for Ashoka is the placard which says “we don’t have vote but heart for you”,by north eastern students.
This was when the Deputy Chief Minister recently participated in a function organised by the north eastern community settled in Bangalore. Hundreds of students from the North-East had fled Bangalore on fears of reprisal attacks in the wake of violence in Assam a few months ago.
For Siddaramaiah,most of the pictures are of him canvassing. Now a separate page “Siddaramaiah as CM”,has been
opened and is operated by his son Rakesh.
Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar has talked about government schemes as part of his achievements and has over 5,000 hits to his name.
Shobha Karandlaje,former Minister and leader of former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa led Karnataka Janatha Party,has also been active on the social media circuit.