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BJP, AAP take poll battle to cell phones

Subhendu Ray  New Delhi, November 16, 2013
First Published: 00:29 IST(16/11/2013) | Last Updated: 00:32 IST(16/11/2013)

Cell phone apps are the latest tools political parties are using to woo voters in the city.

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After reaching out to lakhs of people on the popular social networking site Facebook, the Aam Admi Party (AAP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have adopted strategies to aggressively target smartphones users, many of who are young and first-time urban voters, in the two weeks before the December 4 Assembly polls.

“We will launch a cell phone app in a few days. The application will be available for download to Android, Apple and BlackBerry phones,” said Chetan Singh Bragta, who is in charge of Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha’s (BJYM) social media campaign.

According to sources, the party will promote BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan and prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi using the app in the run up to the Delhi Assembly elections next month.

“We will reach out to young voters, telling them why Harsh Vardhan will be a better chief minister than Sheila Dikshit and why a BJP government in Delhi will be more efficient than one led by the Congress,” a BJYM official said.

AAP’s apps for Android and Windows devices, launched a few weeks ago, has a special feature. “If leaders of any political party -- including AAP -- violate the model code of conduct, users can use the apps to take photographic evidence and report to the Election Commission,” said Ankur Shrivastava of AAP’s IT cell.

A recent study by Google India found a large section of urban young voters going online with their election-related queries. The findings of the study show that the Internet will play an important role in influencing the large undecided urban population in the upcoming elections.

“At least 37% of urban voters are online and a large chunk of them spend good amount time on the Internet,” said Rajan Anandan, vice-president and managing director, Google India. 

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Facebook on Friday joined hands to provide citizens up-to-date information on candidates for the upcoming Assembly and Lok Sabha elections to help them make informed choices. Voters will now be able to access the candidates’ criminal, financial, educational and professional information directly on their cell phones.

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