A year ago, the Congress had overlooked the power of social media to its own peril. But the party is taking no chances this time around.
Even though it is struggling to regroup itself, the party has decided to match the might of AAP and BJP on social media platforms such as facebook and twitter. The party will organise workshops for its sitting and former MLAs, councillors as well as potential candidates on using these two platforms effectively to connect with their electorate.
Though the Congress may not have thousands of twitter followers or lakhs of facebook likes the way AAP and its prominent leaders have, but the grand old party has made a steady beginning.
“Till last elections we were just trying to filter the negative and malicious posts on the party and report them to the twitter and facebook. But this time round, we have decided to be aggressive on social media,” said Radhika Khera, chairperson of the social media cell of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee. Khera, along with 10 volunteers, is running the cell from the third floor of Delhi Congress headquarters at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg.
The cell is now handling two facebook pages — one of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee and another of DPCC President Arvinder Singh, whose facebook page mentions his name has Arvinder Singh Lovely. Also, a separate page of every assembly constituency is ready. “The constituency pages will also be verified soon,” Khera said. The DPCC page has more than 25,000 ‘likes’ while Singh’s page till now has got about 31,000 ‘likes’.
The number is too small in comparison to Delhi unit of AAP’s facebook page which has more than 1.1 million likes while former chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s page has 5.6 million ‘likes’.
Singh has only now begun to slowly tweet his and party’s views and within four months has got more than 16,000 followers.
The Delhi Congress has also started connecting with people on whatsapp and 4,500 people are connected with it on the app. “By next week, each assembly constituency will have its own whatsapp number,” Khera said.
Selection process starts
The Delhi Congress will start the process of selecting candidates for the upcoming Delhi polls from Monday. Primary members of the party can start sending their applications to the party office from Monday. The party will also appoint a team of observers for each constituency to suggest potential candidates. The shortlisted candidates will be sent to party’s central election committee, which will take the final decision.