Congress netagiri gives way to modi-ism - The New Indian Express

Congress netagiri gives way to modi-ism

Published: 12th September 2013 07:52 AM

Last Updated: 12th September 2013 07:52 AM

The usual ‘netagiri’ at Gandhi Bhavan was missing on Wednesday. On the contrary, some ‘modi-isms’ was on full display.

The regular ‘zindabad’ slogans were not heard and the common sight of jostling, arguing and complaining among party cadres were outdone by the sound of mouse clicks. Swanky Android and smart phones outshone the spick and span khaddar attire of the netas.

From PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana, who has never given a picture of being tech-savvy, to some second-rung leaders of the party, on Wednesday, tried their hands at social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to counter the propaganda of their rival parties.

With Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, who is being projected as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, surging ahead on the social networking sites, the PCC too has begun an exercise to counter the growing popularity of Modi, at least in the cyber world in the run-up to 2014 polls.

As per the directions of AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi, the PCC leadership organised a social media workshop on Wednesday for the party cadres from the five districts of South Telangana.

As many as 600 Congress leaders and workers from Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, Medak, Mahbubnagar and Nalgonda districts took part in the workshop aimed at training the cadre on how to utilise the social networking sites to campaign for the party.

The participants were asked to counter the propaganda against party supremo Sonia Gandhi. They were also directed to publicise the welfare schemes of Congress governments at the Centre and in states.

Following TDP

Interestingly, TDP was the first party in the state to utilise the services of political neutrals for its political growth. Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu had fielded neutrals like K Vijaya Rama Rao, former CBI director, and K Puspha Leela, former lecturer, in the elections and later made them ministers.

Like the yellow party, the Congress has also started wooing neutrals, who can not be members of the party as they are working professionals and government employees, to its side in the run-up to 2014 polls.

In order to utilise their services, a special portal, ‘With Congress’, was launched three months ago on the web. Members of With Congress are undertaking a positive campaign for the party through a blog.

During the day-long IT workshop at Gandhi Bhavan, training was given even in this aspect. Apart from Gujarat PCC general secretary Zuber Patel, IT professionals such as Vishesh, Sandesh Joshi and Gaurav Patel, who had come from Delhi, trained the participants during the workshop.

“There has been negative propaganda about the Congress on the virtual world. Hence, our party should counter this and tell about various welfare schemes being implemented by the UPA government as well as various Congress governments in states,” Vishesh, national convener of With Congress campaign told Express.

Claiming that around 50,000 IT professionals and employees are campaigning for the Congress on the virtual world, Vishesh further divulged that they were also utilising the services of party sympathisers in their field of expertise. According to him, apart from techies, cartoonists, writers and web designers are lending their hand.

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