Hands on poll plan with help from AI

Congress war room depends on ‘organic workforce’, ropes in social media influencers
Hands on poll plan with help from AI

NEW DELHI : Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress war room is working round the clock amid an unprecedented financial constraints due to the recent Income Tax action against the party. From roping in social influencers to using Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, the thrust of the election strategy is on digital and social media platforms including WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

The Congress war room, comprising a core group of 2,000 members, is streamlining the preparations across the country.

Speaking to this newspaper, Congress war room chairman Vaibhav Walia said that as the party is facing one of the toughest elections, it is banking highly on volunteers and “organic workforce”. As part of the campaign strategy, the country has been divided into five clusters — North, South, East, West and Central.

“Under these clusters, we’ve got states and under states, we’ve got Lok Sabha constituencies. We have further categorised the constituencies on the basis of colour coding — green, red and orange in terms of winnability chances,” said Walia.

The constituencies are categorised into three segments -- most favouring, most difficult and battle line constituencies. “We are trying to put maximum effort on the battleground constituencies. Currently the focus is on phase wise and we are targeting the first phase of poll to be held on April 19,” he said.

The messaging is done in an organic way, said Walia. “We have one crore digital party members and these volunteers are sent data and digital content daily through WhatsApp. We are telling them to amplify our voices. We are trying to have an organised voice. We have a leadership coordination team who send content to all our leaders,” he added.

A day at the war room starts with a call in the morning at 9am to decide the narrative of the day. “Then we have implementation calls to different teams. We’ve got a monitoring team to monitor reports every morning. We take feedback from Lok Sabha candidates phase wise,” said a functionary.

“Everybody from twitter handles including party chief Kharge, Rahul Gandhi and other leaders, Youth Congress handles, PCCs, everybody speaking in a unified voice. We are trying to make the best optimum utilisation of the resources given all the constraints,” the functionary said.

Apart from the core team, the party also set up 10,000 active volunteers, and ‘Nyay yodhas’ launched during the Rahul Gandhi-led yatra.

“We’ve got a database of around three lakh yodhas. Then there are around 60,000 hyperactive digital volunteers too,” he said.

While the BJP is far ahead in advertisement campaigning, Walia said the Congress is making optimum use of technology including AI to counter the saffron party. The AI team comprises three members, he said.

“In our advertisements, we are using AI and machine learning to target our ads better because we have limited resources. To reach the right person, we are trying to make use of a lot of data points and ad tools. Second is content creation. For videos and image creation, we’re using AI,” said Walia.

While the BJP has come up with AI dubbed speeches of PM Modi in eight Indian languages, the Congress is also mulling to introduce Rahul Gandhi’s speeches in multiple languages through AI. “It is in the pipeline. I don’t know if it’ll be approved or not because one has to be really sure about the result. It can’t be diluted. Once he starts speaking in the election rallies, we will test it. If it works out, then we’ll push it,” said Walia.


  • 2,000 people in war room drive poll preparations

  • Use of Artificial Intelligence tools

  • Like- minded influencers

  • Messages to be sent via social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Youtube

  • A ‘guarantee card’ signed by party president Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi will be released soon and distributed in every household

  • The country is divided into five clusters: North, South, East, West and Central; States and Lok Sabha constituencies come under these clusters

  • Broadcast of Rahul Gandhi’s speeches in different Indian languages being mulled

  • Constituencies are colour-coded: Green (most favouring), red (most difficult), orange (battleground)

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The New Indian Express