Parties bank on student power to beef up their campaign

  • Mallica Joshi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 27, 2015 10:49 IST

Ayush Chauhan, 19, wakes up every morning with a set goal in mind — creating a favourable image for the Delhi BJP on Facebook.

He picks up anything positive done by the party or anything negative about other parties and shares it on Facebook — engaging with those who comment on it to make sure that the post reaches out to as many people as possible.

Chauhan is a student at Delhi University and a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student group sympathetic to the BJP.

But it is not just ABVP that is taking help from students to run its campaign. Congress’ National Students Union of India (NSUI) and Aam Aadmi Party’s Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS) have also been actively engaging in campaigning on various fronts.

“We are campaigning in full force. We are focusing on the New Delhi seat as our former Delhi University Students’ Union president Nupur Sharma will contest against Arvind Kejriwal from there. Our aim is student mobilisation. We are yet to start the campaign, but our volunteers will go from college to college and talk to students about why they should vote for BJP,” said Rohit Chahal, national secretary, ABVP.

The student body had 3,000 volunteers on the ground during the Lok Sabha elections in Delhi alone, helping extensively with the election campaign.

Students are usually tasked with ground work like sloganeering, street plays, door-to-door campaigning and more recently increasing a party’s presence on various social media platforms.

“Students understand social media like no one else does. They have a vast network that will take us a long time to develop. They are also more politically aware than we think,” said an AAP leader.

CYSS has already formed volunteer teams and sent them out for campaigning. Seven teams have been formed to campaign outside metro stations. Each team has about 20 volunteers. Volunteers are also engaging with classmates in colleges and on the campus as well.

NSUI has already activated its block-level units across the city. All volunteers will be working with candidates in their constituencies at various levels.

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