Everyone wants to connect with 2014 Lok Sabha Elections and make it count. Politicians are busy proving why they are the best and others are the worst, while social networking companies are trying to be the platform for online as well as offline discussion.
In a recent development, Google which is known for its Hangout that allows group video chatting among 10 people has cracked a deal with Network 18 in the country. According to the alliance, Network18 and Google will help connect politicians with voters across the country. The partnership involves a series of Google Hangouts with politicians titled ‘In conversation’.
Commencing today, the Hangout series will have Arun Jaitley, Leader of Opposition, Rajya Sabha, addressing voters live via a hangout session. While I write the story, the Hangout is already on air. If you have questions for him, submit using #askjaitley and pray that your questions are selected. IBNLive, the TV channel associated with the alliance, has been promoting the event on its Facebook page which has more than 2.3M fans.
With the 16th Lok Sabha Elections to begin from April 7, the Hangout series will involve politicians such as West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Jammu & Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan, NCP President Sharad Pawar, noted economist Jairam Ramesh and social activist Anna Hazare – discussing key topics and issues on the voters’ minds.
Google Hangouts has been popular with Indian politicians since last year. Gujarat CM Narendra Modi was the first one to adopt the medium and connect with people. Later on Hangouts have been used extensively by the present Government and other political parties.
Facebook tied up with NDTV and Newslaundry, giving its users a chance to discuss the electoral agenda with the country’s top politicians including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal and Lalu Prasad Yadav, the former railway minister recently convicted of corruption.
Social media is already a part of the marketing strategies being chalked out by political parties in the country. Now social networks are leveraging the election fever by bringing voters and political parties closer like never before.