With political parties coming to the realisation that the current “young” generation would play a key role in deciding the outcome of election results in the state, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran Shanta Kumar too has been bitten by the social networking bug.
The 79-year-old leader is the latest among political personalities in Himachal to take to Facebook and Twitter to woo the tech-savvy generation.
Sources said his close associates were behind the latest efforts, and he would monitor the posts and tweets. “My friends, well-wishers, supporters and family, including my granddaughter, insisted that I join Facebook and Twitter, so here am I,” reads his post from February 9, the day he joined Facebook.
Sources said a core team updated his activities on Facebook to get his messages across. Twitter was also abuzz with his supporters, who were reacting to his latest tweets and discussion on key issues.
In a recent tweet, Shanta hailed BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for his intiative 'Chai Pe Charcha' stating that Modi had made tea “a national drink”.
He also expressed disappointment over the rail budget, which had no mention of the state and the strategically-important Pathankot- Leh rail link.
For the last two days, Shanta has been inviting people to attend Modi's rally to be held at Sujanpur Tihra on Sunday, through Twitter.
His close aides feel that social networking sites are a medium that provides easy access to the voters, especially younger ones, at a lower cost.
Shanta is the party's choice from the politically significant Kangra parliamentary seat, which has 12.13 lakh voters, of which 14,000 are first-time voters, and half of them are below the age of 50.
The former HP chief minister has joined the likes of octogenarian party leader LK Advani, who frequently tweets on key issues.
“A big chunk of the young population is using these platforms to interact, debate and discuss various issues like development. When they hold the key to the chances of a candidate, it becomes very important to connect with them,” said a party leader.