KOLKATA: Ruling Trinamool Congress appears to be on top of the web-war game in the state with its full-fledged cyber-army. It is far ahead of the BJP, the ruling party’s principal political competitor in Bengal.
While West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Twitter handle boasts over 36 lakh followers, state BJP president and the party’s popular face Dilip Ghosh has 1.06 lakh followers. The ruling party’s official Youtube channel has been viewed by 3.06 crore people while the BJP’s channel presently has 1.13 crore viewers. In terms of subscriber count as well, the TMC turned out trumps. Trinamool’s Youtube account has over 98,000 subscribers, while the saffron party’s channel has around 67,000 subscribers.
‘’We do not hire professionals to fight web war with the ruling party. Our young workers have been doing work to showcase our party on social media. But we will strengthen our cyber unit before the 2021 Assembly elections,’’ said BJP’s state president Ghosh.
Trinamool was the first political party in Bengal that had experimented with live chat on Facebook before the 2016 Assembly elections. Embarrassed by the Narada sting operations and a flyover collapsed in Kolkata, facing the electorate through a live chat session was not an easy task for Mamata Banerjee, who had walked out from a live talk show organised by a news channel in 2012 when she was asked a question that she did not like.
Aiming for a second stint in Bengal, Mamata had identified the cyber world as a strong medium to reach out to masses.
‘’Now, all of the chief minister’s programmes, be it government or political, is telecasted live on its social media page. Videos are uploaded on the party’s Twitter handle We are in touch with grass-route cadres through WhatsApp. We even formed a district and zonal level WhatsApp group,’’ said a senior party leader.