Many BJP leaders may often face accusation that they do not listen to their critics with the intent to understand; they listen only with the intent just to counter them or score brownies.
But BJP’s online warriors are learning just to do that for their leaders’ benefit.
In what is billed as the first art of internet warfare, they are into “careful listening” to what’s everyone saying about the party and its leaders ahead of the 2014 polls.
Everytime, someone abuses BJP or praises its approach, or offer ideas through the net for the party, hundreds of IT volunteers across the country, pick them up for analysis.
“Everything that’s said on Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, blogs etc, are picked up, using social media analytic tools,” says Arvind Gupta, head of BJP national IT cell. “We carefully follow the emerging issues and trends and a feedback is relayed back to the concerned leaders.”
Gupta, alumnus of IIT-BHU, says such analysis throw up different feedback compared to what the mainline media say. “For instance, take the row over BJP chief Rajnath Singh’s remarks on English. The feedback we got was positive for him, and not as slamming as made out by others.”
The most challenging task would be to use IT services to reach out to voters in select 160 Lok Sabha constituencies, as mooted by Narendra Modi, BJP’s face for 2014.
“Engaging voters, particularly 18 plus voters in places where we think Facebook hats, Google hangouts and Twitter chats can make a big difference, is going to be our great test,” he added.
It is not only cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Lucknow or Bhopal, where mobile internet offers large potential for reaching out to voters.
Gupta says BJP plans to increase its IT warrior base from current 10,000 to one lakh plus.