Parties kick up pre-poll social media storm in Telangana

The IT cell of the TRS manages the official pages of the party and also generates promotional content which is relayed across the official WhatsApp groups across 31 districts of the state.

Published: 22nd March 2019 08:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd March 2019 12:59 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: ‘This election would be fought and won on social media’ -- a popular catchphrase that has been making the rounds on the Internet in the run-up to Parliamentary polls -- raises the need to examine the various mechanisms political parties have devised to reach out to their tech-savvy constituents.  

A look at the various IT cells of the major parties in the fray for the Lok Sabha polls in State show that they have all come up with their own strategies to exploit the ‘digital property’ they have carefully built with likes, shares, views and interactions over time.

Take the TRS party, for instance. Fresh out of their victory in the 2018 general elections, the pink party employs a very simple approach to lure social media users. “The party has done very well in the recently concluded Assembly polls and therefore, it does not have to do anything differently this time. The only thing we are focussing on is to ensure that the various schemes of the government are highlighted,” said Jagan Mohan Rao Patimeedi, the social media coordinator for TRS. As per the officials, posts that contain KCR’s speeches are biggest hits on social media, followed by the ones highlighting Rythu Bandhu, pension and Mission Bhageeratha schemes.  

The IT cell of TRS manages the official pages of the party and also generates promotional content which are relayed across the official WhatsApp groups across 31 districts of the State. “We encourage all of our leaders to have their own profiles. For this purpose, they hire their own teams. The leaders and their cadre are part of district-level WhatsApp groups,” he added.

WhatsApp, a crucial element

WhatsApp Messenger has been playing a critical role this election season as political parties have found them to be more niche. The moods and tones of WhatsApp groups have helped amplify messages.
“We have variety of culturally constituted groups like Ganeshotsav, Hindu Dharam Premi, Ghanghor Samaj. However, politics comes up in conversations one way or the other as and when new policies or plans gets launched,” said a BJP worker from Ghansi Bazar.

For parties like the BJP, which could only win one seat in 2018 Assembly elections, penetration into social media users via WhatsApp groups is crucial. Sources said that party workers at all levels have been directed to remain ‘active’ on all kinds of social media and promote its work done at the national level.


However, not all parties rely on WhatsApp. AIMIM’s social media cell notes that the party only uses the app for internal cadre coordination.

Internet companies voluntarily come up with code of ethics

Hyderabad: Members of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), including Facebook and WhatsApp, have come with a ‘code of ethics’ for the upcoming Lok Sabha and various other Assembly elections in the country.
In an attempt to bring in transparency in political advertisements and other such content, the companies have agreed to voluntarily establish a high-priority communication channel with nodal officers who will be designated by the Election Commission of India.
As per the agreement, they would take action against content that is reported by these nodal officers. An IAMAI delegation on Wednesday presented this document to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra.


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