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HindustanTimes Sat,02 Aug 2014

Rahul cracks the whip, pushes for poll website

Saubhadra Chatterji , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 08, 2013
First Published: 00:42 IST(8/10/2013) | Last Updated: 00:44 IST(8/10/2013)

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is not a frequent visitor to strategy meetings at the party’s ‘war room’ in 15, Gurdwara Rakabganj Road. But two weeks ago, he spent hours there with select aides to personally supervise the party’s progress on social media.

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With time running out before the 2014 polls, Gandhi is believed to have cracked the whip after observing a delay in the party’s e-preparedness. Gandhi has sought a special website for the Congress manifesto for the 2014 elections, said sources.

Gandhi first wants an open e-platform where suggestions can pour in. “The idea is to involve the voters in the manifesto making process. Instead of imposing our promises, we would like to see their wish-list first,” said a senior party functionary.

Likely to be named hamariawaaz.com, the site will also try to gauge the public mood as the Congress battles the anti-incumbency of 10 years in power.

Gandhi has also fast tracked the rejig of the official website of the All India Congress Committee—a plan gathering dust for almost eight months. Recently, the party overhauled its Facebook page and strengthened its Twitter presence.

The Congress, perceived to be lagging far behind the BJP in the social media, is desperate to gain some foothold in the cyber battlefield. According to a recent study by IRIS Knowledge Foundation, social media will have an impact on at least 160 out of 543 Lok Sabha constituencies.

The party has already held workshops on social media for spokespersons and leaders have resorted to platforms like Google Hangout.


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