Digital push will have big impact on bypolls, says BJP IT cell chief
It’s well past lunch time on Tuesday, but about 200 karyakartas (workers) at the state BJP headquarters listen attentively as the BJP IT (information technology) cell chief Amit Malviya answers their queriesjaipur Updated: Jan 02, 2018 21:43 IST
It’s well past lunch time on Tuesday, but about 200 karyakartas (workers) at the state BJP headquarters listen attentively as the BJP IT (information technology) cell chief Amit Malviya answers their queries.
Malviya, who has flown down specially to impart training, is confident of the party’s IT cell making a big impact in by-elections in Rajasthan. Elections to the Ajmer and Alwar Lok Sabha seats and Mandalgarh assembly constituency will be held on January 29.
“IT cell of the BJP will have a significant impact in the election outcome because Rajasthan is a fairly digitally savvy state and the people are very entrepreneurial and understand the value of information,” Malviya told HT on the sidelines of the workshop.
When it comes to digital outreach, BJP has a head start over several other parties and the effort, he said, was to ensure that the gap is widened.
The BJP’s formidable election machinery is divided into two parts – the traditional campaign method and a digital outreach on social media platforms, which is now an integral part of its strategy.
“Our strategy will evolve as we go ahead and look at the regional context and even within Rajasthan, our strategy is devised for each zone depending on the geographical requirement, cultural requirement and demography,” Malviya said.
But will the digital strategy work in rural regions of Alwar and Mandalgarh? “I think this divide that we speak about in the rural and urban context has blurred given the kind of digital penetration that we have seen. I have just interacted with karyakartas from these seats who are here and it only validates my understanding that today rural India is as connected to the digital ecosystem as are the urban centres,” he said.
The party’s strategy here is different from that in recent assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat. “Every election has a strategy that is localised and contextual. So what worked for us in Himachal Pradesh may not necessarily be what we do in Rajasthan,” he said.
The IT cell’s mandate is to take the achievements of the central and state governments to the people. “We have teams going right down to the booth, and created an information network that spans the state. Our objective is to see that we are able to send a consistent message right from Delhi down to the booth in Rajasthan,” he said.
The IT cell in Rajasthan is in the process of ensuring that its digital assets are robust, informative and cater to all the information that the people may have of their party or the government.
On allegations of propagating fake news, he said, “Fake news has been around as long as media has been around including the mainstream media. The fact about any information is that it is relevant only if it is true and that applies to any medium. It has nothing to do with digital media.” He denied any attempt to deliberately peddle fake news on social media.
Malviya said it would be difficult to give an assessment of the number of people involved, because other than office-bearers of the party from state level down to booth, they have cadres in excess of 25,000 (across the state).