WhatsApp plays major role in Bhopal civic poll

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Jan 31, 2015 22:49 IST

Unlike the cyberwars between the Congress and the BJP during the Lok Sabha and the assembly elections, this time, during the civic elections, it was WhatsApp that was used in a major way, sans the fireworks.

From candidates to media professionals, WhatsApp was used for conveying various developments in real time, information about candidates, voting trends, malfunctioning of EVM at some polling booths and so on.

Many WhatsApp groups, especially those related to media coverage, regularly posted various significant events of the civic elections, whether it was minor skirmishes between the workers of various political parties, problems faced by some voters, voting trends or voting percentages. Even many photos related to voting were shared in the groups.

Some contestants and their supporters even used it for targeting their rivals.

A smear campaign was launched against the Congress candidate fighting for the post of mayor by some of his rivals to dent his minority vote bank in the city.

Also, an old photo was posted on one of the WhatsApp groups in which both main mayoral candidates, Alok Sharma of the BJP and Kailash Mishra of the Congress, have been shown together with arms around each other in a group photo.

Contestants from the Congress and the BJP also sent appeals in the groups, urging people to vote for their candidates.

BJP mayoral candidate Alok Sharma even sent a message on some WhatsApp groups in the morning, appealing people to come out for voting.

Some groups also posted photographs of major contestants.

There were also some posts that highlighted the problems faced by voters. One message in a group read, “A youth is wandering for nearly an hour to cast his vote. Because of delimitation, he is unable to find his polling both. The name of the youth is Ram Swaroop.”

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