Congress catches up with AAP on use of social media in Punjab pollshttps://indianexpress.com/elections/punjab-assembly-elections-2017/congress-leaves-behind-aap-bjp-in-social-media-campaign-in-punjab-4499184/

Congress catches up with AAP on use of social media in Punjab polls

In Punjab, the Congress is running a robust social media campaign as it is reaching out to a large number of people using Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc.

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Dr Raj Kumar Verka, Congress candidate from Amritsar West, said that the party had a unique amalgamating of both traditional and modern techniques, to reach out to maximum number of people. (File)

The BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party ran remarkable campaigns on social media during the 2014 General Elections and the Delhi Assembly elections that followed. They realised that to connect with young and tech-savvy voters, an aggressive social media campaign is a must. Even after winning elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his ministers and Delhi Chief Minister Minister Arvind Kejriwal have been using the social media in a very efficient manner. When it comes to Congress, however, it is perceived that the party has failed to adapt with the changing times and left behind in this area.

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But the party now seems to have learnt the lessons. In Punjab, the Congress is running a robust social media campaign as it is reaching out to a large number of people using Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc. As a part of its social media strategy, the party has its own centralised IT cell in the state which works in collaboration with the social media cell run by party’s poll strategist Prashant Kishor’s IPAC. Adding to it, individual party candidates also have their own social media teams.

Speaking with indianexpress.com, media advisor to Dr Raj Kumar Verka, Congress candidate from Amritsar West, said that the party had a unique set-up in the state and was amalgamating both traditional and modern techniques to reach out to maximum number of people.

“We started in March and we are now ahead of AAP and Akali Dal on social media. We have about 10 lakh followers while AAP has about 8 lakh and Akali has 6 lakh,” said Paroma, head of the social media team working in collaboration with Congress party in Punjab.

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On the other hand, BJP does not have an established social media team in the state. When it comes to AAP, their social media strategy is equally aggressive in Punjab. The party has been using its national social media platforms along with the local ones to promote itself.

The campaign in Punjab has entered its final stage with only three days remaining. The state will vote on February 4. On Monday, BJP president Amit Shah addressed a rally in Amritsar, while Arvind Kejriwal held five meetings in Majitha on Sunday. The election results will be announced on March 11.