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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

Going virtual is the new face-to-face for city voters

Monica Sharma, Hindustan Times  CHANDIGARH, March 25, 2014
First Published: 11:27 IST(25/3/2014) | Last Updated: 11:34 IST(25/3/2014)

With just about a fortnight left for the parliamentary elections, candidates and their supporters can be seen actively logging on to the internet. Residents are increasingly using social media as platform to reach out to Lok Sabha candidates by liberally commenting and giving suggestions to them. The Facebook pages and accounts also reflect critical views by residents and ‘public bashing’ of candidates.

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A social media cell has been set up by almost all parties. The tool is also being used to display pictures of campaigning, displaying show of strength during visits across the city.

The medium, which is being seen as the fastest way to reach out to the people, is being managed constantly by the candidates and their people.

Congress MP Pawan Kumar in fray for the Lok Sabha elections also has a Facebook page from where he gets feedback. The party workers keep displaying development work undertaken by the Congress all these years.

For every state a Facebook page has been set up by the party. “Chandigarh – With Congress” is the page managed for Bansal by a committee of five members. There is another personal Facebook account and his website which is being managed by another team. The party is also coming up with an e-application for youth in the coming days.

BJP candidate Kirron Kher, who has recently come down to city from Mumbai, has also logged on to the programme of campaigning through Facebook and Twitter.

Showing the graph of popularity, the Kirron’s Facebook page, which came up only on March 17, has got more than 3,275 likes in just about a week. In some of the comments, the likes have gone into hundreds, soon after it was shared.

Kherkeeps accessing Facebook and Twitter and personally monitors the comments. A social media cell has also been set up to upload pictures and news clippings of the candidate. Kher is very specific what and when to comment. After noticing the updates on the page, she advises her team members to upload the reply.

The Aam Aadmi Party, which too has dedicated a page for Chandigarh, has around 2,358 likes. Panag regularly keeps tweeting on different issues and her day’s routine. The Facebook page addresses the party candidate — Gulkirat Kaur Panag as Chandigarh’s daughter and reflects the day-to-day activities of actor, besides the news clippings of her interviews. They have also put up videos of residents highlighting problems faced by them.

BSP candidate Jannat Jahan has also come up with a Facebook account which is being followed by 2,778 people. She also has a complete cell dedicated for the purpose of uploading the campaigning pictures.

NEW TREND
After Kirron tweeted that she is ready to answer queries of localites regarding her future plans , the trend started on Twitter with #AskKirronKher, where she was frequently replying.

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