Rahul drops ‘negativity’ from social media strategy

Gearing up for the 2019 national elections, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has devised a three-point social media strategy based on no negative messaging, no abusing rivals and countering the Central government with facts.

Published: 10th February 2018 10:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th February 2018 07:46 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: Gearing up for the 2019 national elections, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has devised a three-point social media strategy based on no negative messaging, no abusing rivals and countering the Central government with facts.

The list of do’s and don’ts suggested by the Congress chief are part of the social media strategy devised by him recently, and will be taken to states over the coming months to ensure a uniform response, said sources involved in the process.

The revamp was done keeping in mind an internal assessment that the Congress social media campaign ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls could not match up to that of BJP prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi.

“Rahul wants to be better prepared this time,” a senior AICC functionary told The Sunday Standard.
At the core of Rahul’s social media strategy are ways to counter the BJP’s false narrative, which the ruling party does by manipulating facts. “The GDP growth data and renaming of UPA schemes are glaring examples of this false narrative,” said a source.

Further, innovative and proactive campaigns on social and political issues would be taken up to counter the criticism that the Congress social media strategy is largely reactive.

“We have been raising issues in a concentrated form, but we need to take our message to villages,” said senior member of the central team.

For those who have been tasked to care of the nuts and bolts of the plan, picking up the right set of volunteers and providing technical training to them is key to success. “We are addressing the issue by holding workshops in the states,” said a source.

Uttar Pradesh, because of its sheer size and political significance in national politics, is receiving special attention. “A big challenge in UP is to scale up our effort and building local teams,” said an AICC functionary.

While the state unit will play up big on the problem of joblessness, a major concern among the educated youth, the pathetic health care facilities in chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s stronghold Gorakhpur will be taken up ahead of the Lok Sabha bypolls and after it.

Congress insiders said while the Modi government would have little to show in terms of achievements by 2019, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh would have turned two and would be open to greater scrutiny.

“Our campaign in Gujarat changed the poll scenario where development was the main plank. Unemployment will be a major factor in our UP strategy,” said a member of the UP social media team.

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