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Poll war spills over to cyberspace

If only websites could sway the outcome of the Lok Sabha polls, the Congress would win hands down. The updated version of its site ? www.indiannationalcongress.org ? has much to woo the casual visitor, reports Nandini R Iyer.

india Updated: Apr 04, 2004 15:12 IST

If only websites could sway the outcome of the Lok Sabha polls, the Congress would win hands down. The updated version of its site — www.indiannationalcongress.org — has much to woo the casual visitor.

The site opens with a map of India coloured like the Congress flag and with party symbol, the hand, in the centre. Scrolling messages say: "The party that brought India to the 21st century, the party that built modern India". And on entering the site, there is the bold message "Walk the Talk".

While the visitor may well smile at the title of a popular TV show, curiosity does prompt one to check it out. The content is a transcript of Sonia Gandhi's much-talked-about interview on NDTV.

In stark contrast, the BJP website — www.bjp.org — is a study in how a website should not be. It opens with out-of-focus, poorly aligned and not particularly flattering mugshots of the PM, the DPM and party chief Venkaiah Naidu. They could, of course, always take the plea that passport-sized photographs inevitably make one look weird, but then they'll have to pray their visitors don't check out the rival's site.

The only aspect on which the BJP scores over Congress is that the first screen image on the site mentions the address of its party office, a detail which the Congress has apparently overlooked.

The BJP site also lists the details for taking membership of the party. But it tells you that you have to believe in the BJP philosophy. To know more about that, you need to wade through reams of lectures by Deen Dayal Upadhyay.

The Congress site, which does not contain details of party membership, offers you a chance to join the Congress Network of Friends. The only condition is that you have to support Sonia Gandhi's leadership.

First Published: Mar 19, 2004 13:10 IST