One of the agenda’s of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) along with the possible construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is to emphasis about the malgovernance of the Congress led UPA government. To do so BJP has launched what it calls its ‘chargesheet’ on the ‘dark decade of UPA’s malgovernance’ with a website that attempts massive outreach through social media, reports NDTV.
The website – India 272+ has a twofold objective. While it is uncovering the truth behind the effective governance on social media, at the same time it is also using the platform for Online and On-ground Volunteering Platform to help the BJP in its mission towards gaining a 272+ seat majority in the 545 seat Lok Sabha for the upcoming 2014 General Elections.
With the tag line of ‘towards majority‘, the site will be reaching out to the citizens of the country via social media for giving feedback and complaints about the UPA. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and even SMSes have been incorporated to implement it. However, the party promises to protect the identity of people sending feedback if they want anonymity.
Speaking about the initiative with NDTV, Ravi Shankar Prasad said it was a new attempt to “crowd source” with a “people-centric chargesheet” and it would also have offline elements where party leaders would meet people from different groups to learn about their problems.
At the same time the party is well aware that the youth of India forms the biggest chunk of the population and hence called for a volunteer drive. It is being said that, BJP has set itself a target of enlisting 10,000 volunteers and another one lakh online volunteers by the end of August.
Special training sessions have been planned to be conducted to teach the volunteers about the contents of their message and the use of technology in reaching out to potential voters. Technology would be a big role player and BJP has been known for it in the country.
A Facebook page and Twitter presence has been already launched. The social media presence is quite nascent for the initiative but it won’t take much time before it picks up, considering the fan following of Narendra Modi on social media.
The Indian National Congress (INC) - which has been getting its act right on social media gradually - is involved in the creation of Feku Express to highlight the false statements that Modi has been making at his rallies and it has been successful to some extent. Besides this the INC party had launched a similar volunteer drive with the ‘With Congress’ campaign to strengthen its base on social media. The volunteer driven campaign is another initiative to promote INC initiatives and views to the people of India. The motive is to gain a bigger reach by turning netizens into brand advocates.
2014 elections will witness a massive use of technology and social media by political parties but how much it influences voters is yet to be seen.