Apps, social media, workers: All the ways to make Mumbaiites vote | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Apps, social media, workers: All the ways to make Mumbaiites vote

Mobile apps, social media, student wings and on-ground workers — despite a month of high octane campaigning, political parties, fearing voters won’t turn up once again, worked out several ways to get people out of their homes on Tuesday

mumbai Updated: Feb 21, 2017 00:41 IST
Naresh Kamath
BMC polls
EVMs are distributed at a BMC office in Santacruz on Monday.(Pratham Gokhale/HT )

Mobile apps, social media, student wings and on-ground workers — despite a month of high octane campaigning, political parties, fearing voters won’t turn up once again, worked out several ways to get people out of their homes on Tuesday.

Adding to the fear is that all parties are contesting the polls separately this time, which means margins of victory in most wards will come down.

While the Shiv Sena is relying on its grassroots network to bring out voters, the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have resorted to technology — introducing voters’ list mobile applications and making laptops available for voters to find their names and booths .

“All our workers have downloaded the Rajyog mobile application which gives information of the voters list. This will be shared with polling agents who will mark the voters and give us timely updates,” said Sanjay Nirupam, Mumbai Congress President

The BJP, like the Sena, feels its strength is in numbers — nearly 6,000 workers are on the ground, across all polling booths.

“We have party workers in every building, who will be responsible to get residents to the polling booths on Tuesday,” said Ajay Choudhari, a Sena legislator from the Shivadi constituency.

“At every polling booth, we have been given the responsibility to six or seven workers to just handle 100-200 voters. Around 1,300 to 1,700 voters are exopected at each polling booth, so we are hoping to mobilise as many of our voters to vote,’’ said a senior BJP functionary.

The party’s parallel organisations, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh have also been put on the job, as an additional cover to ensure that these workers get the job done.

The BJP has also roped in several community and social organisations, housing co-operative societies office bearers in every ward to get the numbers out.

“We are appealing to housing society office bearers to encourage neighbours and society members to vote,” said Mihir Kotecha, vice president Mumbai BJP.

Some candidates are using mobile applications that give details of buildings where people have exercised their franchise. Using this, they can track voting patterns and ask party workers to bring out those who are yet to cast their vote.

The social media cell of various parties will also be actively appealing to the core voter support base to cast their votes. The NCP has appealed to the local taxi and rickshaw drivers to give free or concessional ride to senior citizens to increase the voting percentage.

“These days everyone uses technology to locate booth for voters but we have appealed local taxi and auto drivers to help senior citizens, physically challenged voters to cast their votes,” said Sachin Ahir, Mumbai NCP, president.

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