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Omar beats poll prediction blues with social media

india Updated: Dec 04, 2014 23:03 IST
Peerzada Ashiq
Peerzada Ashiq
Hindustan Times
Omar Abdullah

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah is tapping social media to rally his dejected party members with poll analysts predicting a massive defeat for the National Conference in the ongoing assembly election.

Abdullah has supplemented campaign legwork with some hands-on digital electioneering, posting live videos and pictures of his rallies to connect with young voters and NC workers.

“I know this is an election I'm supposed to lose if I believe the experts but someone forgot to tell these people :-),” the 44-year-old leader tweeted, pinning a photograph from a massive public meeting at the Khan Sahib constituency on December 2.

Political experts say Abdullah stepped up efforts to motivate his supporters after several key leaders like Ajatshatru Singh, Mehboob Beg and Sheikh Ghulam Hussain defected from the party.

The NC is likely to see a huge slide from the 28 seats it won in the last assembly polls after drawing a blank in this year’s Lok Sabha election. The party is saddled with a considerable anti-incumbency wave with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) emerging as the favourite, though a resurgent BJP is expected to make big gains.

“What happens when you party hop too much. Thanks Ajat :-)Ajat Shatru Singh's epic gaffe – ‘Hal ka button dabao’,” Abdullah tweeted with a video where Singh asks voters to pick the NC’s plough symbol instead of the BJP’s lotus.

In India, Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party embraced social media ahead of rivals, collaborating with thousands of volunteers to spread the BJP's message and counter criticism on the web that contributed to a landslide win in the parliamentary polls.