PATNA: The upcoming elections in Bihar may go online through various modes of digital communications because of situation created by the continuously spreading of outbreak of COVID-19.
Admitting it with this newspaper, deputy chief minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said that nobody can deny the involvement of digital campaigning during the upcoming Bihar elections in accordance with the social distancing.
"The Election Commission of India ought to develop a digital polling method also for Bihar polls as it would not be prudent to put the voters beyond the social distancing to go to polling booths to vote,"he opined.
Sounding confident on the strong possibility of Bihar polls going online, he said: "It is not impossible to conduct polling online. We can take an example of polling held in South Korea online while maintaining proper safe social distancing."
In Bihar, assembly elections are tentatively scheduled to held between October and November this year whether pandemic ends or not. "It is now a foregone conclusion that conducting electioneering or campaigning during the Bihar elections wouldn't not be possible to be done through traditional or conventional ways for next more than a year due to pandemic driven social distancing. Thus, holding polls online and conducting campaigning through various digital modes of communication would be unavoidable in Bihar," he added.
Upon being asked about the preparedness of BJP on meeting such challenges; Modi categorically claimed that the BJP has been a IT and technology-savvy party for long time with world's biggest number of members around 12 crores.
"The BJP wouldn't have any problem if the EC opts to such digital polling method in Bihar polls",he said, adding that time has come to go in interaction with the people or the voters through digital platforms like video conferencing, WhatsApp caling, messenger etc.
He also claimed that the BJP has set a record in increasing online membership of party by giving "missed-calls" from the cellphones. "In 2014, the party had used virtual images system besides other digital platforms in showing the speeches of then designated PM Narendra Modi. So, anticipating about the starting of online polling is not impractical but a circumstantialneed that may come true," he exuded.
The BJP and many other political parties including JDU and the RJD in Bihar have developed digital platforms for sharing party's views and policies among the people by setting up many IT teams handling right from the official Twitter handles to other social media platforms.
Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic here, the state has been witnessing intense poster and Twitter wars between the ruling alliance and the opposition. Even RJD, whose chief Lalu Prasad Yadav had once mocked at IT-savvy parties by saying no to "IT-byty" in party, now has a well developed IT cell handling digital platforms included Twitter.
RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwari said that RJD is ready to go in polls and defeat the NDA through whatever way the poll is held. "But the statement of Sushil Kumar Modi shows that the BJP is only concerned to polls; not for the people battling against the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.