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BJP leaders in race for assembly tickets in MP use online polls to show popularity

Upset with this competitive online polling, a former BJP MLA Dhruv Narayan Singh lodged a complaint with the police, demanding action against what he called ‘fake’ polling.

india Updated: Jun 21, 2018 23:24 IST
Shruti Tomar
Shruti Tomar
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
BJP,Madhya Pradesh,Social media
BJP President Amit Shah, flanked by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan (L) and BJP state chief Rakesh Singh being garlanded by party workers in Jabalpur on June 12, 2018.(PTI File Photo)

With just five months to go for assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, competition has peaked among ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders vying for tickets, and many of them are resorting to local online polls to make their case and project their popularity.

Supporters of these leaders are organising social media polls by uploading photographs of the contenders and tagging it with a message like “Who is the best possible candidate from X constituency” on their Facebook page and asking people to give their opinion.

Since these opinion polls are invariably posted by supporters of these leaders, the Facebook or WhatsApp groups tend to have predictable comments and praise for the leader and expectedly choicest of criticism for their opponents. All this much to the chagrin of other local leaders.

Upset with this competitive online polling, a former BJP MLA Dhruv Narayan Singh even lodged a complaint with the police, demanding action against what he called ‘fake’ polling.

Singh said, “They don’t even know whether I am going to contest the election or not. They are unnecessarily creating noise. People are posting whatever they want and maligning the image by posting photographs.”

“I objected to this and lodged a complaint against it,” he added.

Shivam Sharma, a poll creator for a constituency of Morena district, said, “Our motive is not to disrespect anyone. We are just trying to test the popularity of the local leaders and social media is an open and transparent way to do it.”

However, citing it as a problem for the party, state BJP president Rakesh Singh has asked party leaders not to indulge in such publicity stunts.

Singh said, “I have asked all the leaders not to overuse social media. Nothing is going to happen by organising such polls. They should concentrate more on ground work than on social media.”

Terming it as an unrest within the party, Madhya Pradesh Congress spokesperson Manak Agrawal said, “There is unrest in the BJP. Its leaders are fighting with each other and this online polling is a result of it.”

First Published: Jun 21, 2018 23:24 IST