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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Food for thought on breakfast table: Next polls will be fought on mobile, says PM Modi

According to Modi, mobile phones will be the biggest interface between politicians and the electorate in the next General Election, sources said.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Updated: April 1, 2017 2:34:01 am
Leading from the front: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Cabinet colleagues on Tuesday. Prem Nath Pandey

HAVING ALREADY asked BJP legislators to be in election mode, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked party MPs from states governed by opposition parties to focus on the youth and use the digital platform to reach out to them ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Modi held his fifth and last breakfast meeting with BJP parliamentarians today, and reminded them that “digital is the new language and mobile is the new communicator.” The Prime Minister is learnt to have asked them to “use mobile technology as the medium for reaching out to the youth.”

According to Modi, mobile phones will be the biggest interface between politicians and the electorate in the next General Election, sources said. On Friday, he met Members of Parliament from Jharkhand, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, as well as nominated members from Kerala. With the BJP having so far failed to make deep inroads in some of these states, the party had earlier decided to focus on these states to compensate for the possible losses it could face in states such as Rajasthan, where it had won almost all the seats in 2014.

The MPs and other representatives should have strong presence on social media, including Facebook, and they should reflect development works they carry out, sources said quoting Modi. He asked them to move to the digital economy and emphasised that the digital platform will resume greater importance in the 2019 elections, because it is vibrant, transparent and has an immediate impact.

“The next polls will be fought on mobile,” he was quoted saying. He said BJP MPs will not be ready for the elections unless they get a significant presence on the platform.

“(The) interface is changing and we all need to have presence on digital platforms, social media and especially mobile. Each one of our leaders and MPs should have presence on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, among others,” Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar quoted the Prime Minister as having said.

“In 2019, digital platform will assume greater importance and mobile phones will be the greatest interface to communicate and convey your message to the people at large,” Modi told the BJP leaders.

The Prime Minister told the MPs that the government is committed to bring in changes in the lives of farmers through irrigation schemes and other projects meant for farmers. He urged the MPs to link irrigation schemes with the MGNREGA programme and said the farm irrigation schemes should move in an institutional manner.

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