BJP trumps Left in social media war as Tripura assembly elections near

BJP’s Facebook page has over 2 lakh fans, 18,200 followers on Twitter. Left’s followers on Facebookare barely one-fourth of the saffron party’s count

india Updated: Feb 16, 2018 07:18 IST
Priyanka Deb Barman
Priyanka Deb Barman
Hindustan Times, Agartala
Tripura assembly elections,BJP,Social media war
The BJP, which has successfully used the Internet to woo voters in every election since 2014, enjoys a massive following on social media platforms.(PTI File Photo)

The BJP is way ahead of its rivals on the social media, which has emerged as a major campaign tool in the upcoming Tripura assembly elections.

Tripura goes to the polls on February 18.

The saffron party, which has successfully used the Internet to woo voters in every election since 2014, enjoys a massive following on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. BJP leaders said the party’s official Facebook page for Tripura has over two lakh fans, and another 2.7 lakh watch political commercials posted on the platform every day. Likewise, the state BJP’s Twitter page has 18,200 followers.

“Material posted by the state BJP reaches 1.62 lakh people on an average every day. The video posts and advertisements have been doing extremely well since January-end,” said Shivam Shankar Singh, election consultant at party general secretary Ram Madhav’s office.

Find your candidates in Tripura assembly polls

Singh said over three lakh people in the state have access to social media, and the party has reached out to almost all of them. As per a BJP assessment, the state social media is mostly dominated by men in the 18-34 age group.

Although the CPI(M) was initially hesitant about giving the Internet a try, it is finally reaching out to social media users. Its followers on Facebook, however, are barely one-fourth of the saffron party’s count.

The Left party has around 15 official Facebook pages, including those at the district and sub-divisional level, a CPI(M) leader said on the condition of anonymity. The ruling party launched its primary Facebook page in October 2016, and has been using it to highlight the government’s achievements ever since.

The Congress is the latest political party to leap on the social media bandwagon, which it uses to highlight issues such as unemployment, corruption and agricultural distress. “We keep in touch with the people of Tripura through the social media,” said Pijush Kanti Biswas, chairman of the party’s campaigning committee.

Though the party’s Facebook and Twitter pages have only around 1,000 followers each, Fairoz Khan – head of the Congress-affiliated National Students’ Union of India – has an explanation for it. “The Congress has real social media followers unlike the BJP, which pays for them,” he alleged during a visit earlier this month.

First Published: Feb 16, 2018 07:18 IST