BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's 'Mission 272+' dream has a strong Bangalore connection. While the Gujarat Chief Minister is the lone architect of this template, it runs on the ideas and inputs supplied by a handful of techies who refuse to take any credit. These silent foot soldiers of the Modi brigade operate from one of the prominent locations in South Bangalore, with their platform being www.India272.com, a voluntary digital campaign site.
Twenty teams, with varied responsibilities, were set up soon after Modi was elected as BJP's Campaign Committee chairman in Goa last year. The EICC (Election Information Campaign Committee) task was given to Rajya Sabha member and BJP national treasurer Piyush Goyal. The core tech team driving www.India272.com is spread across Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Gandhinagar. "www.India272.com is one of the vibrant digital ecosystem for Brand Modi. It focuses on the voters and their needs. Modi wants us to always keep in direct touch with the people in all our campaign strategies," says Shashi Shekhar, chief digital officer at Niti Digital, who spearheads the website.
Shashi says that the foundation being laid by Modi to take the online route to reach voters will start showing its full impact in the years to come. "Through www.India272.com we have mapped out the most committed supporters, their voter IDs and mobile numbers. This gives us an extra swing and we hand out five tasks to each one of them. It is a very personalised way of campaigning-engaging people all through," says Sashi, whose Twitter handle @offstumped has now become a talking point. He further says the local issues get transmitted to the leaders via volunteers who have registered with the website. Hailing from Hyderabad, Shashi holds a B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from IIT Mumbai and was part of Infosys for 16 years till he chose a flightpath of his own last year.
On Modi's tryst with technology, B G Mahesh, founder and MD of multi-lingual portal oneindia.in and one of the lead volunteers powering the digital campaigning, says the BJP leader has been pushing for maximum voter registration. "He (Modi) has been monitoring the progress of voter registration. To meet his vision, we digitised Form VI and developed an App, simplifying the process. He gets into minute details and always choses technology as the first step to implement an idea. The voter registration and crowd sourcing has been a major hit on India272.com," says Mahesh, a BE in Computer Science from SJCE, Mysore with a Masters from the US.
Bangalore tops the chart in registering maximum volunteers to spread Modi's Mission 272+ vision, with Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad following. "We have been getting encouraging response from cities like Salem, Madurai and Coimbatore as well. The Form VI App, Facebook App and Android App are among the hot picks this summer. The average age of volunteers is around 30 years," Mahesh said.
When asked about one factor they saw in Modi to get associated technologically, Shashi picked the former's swiftness in converting ideas into action, while Mahesh chose his detailed thinking ability.
“Lots of ideas take shape while Modi is flying,” they said.