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BJP to train young guns for media campaign in Rajasthan

Ahead of the assembly polls in Rajasthan and two other states this year and Lok Sabha election in 2019, the BJP is readying a cadre of young faces from its state units across the country to be appointed as spokespersons and panellists

rajasthan elections 2018 Updated: Jun 11, 2018 22:17 IST
Urvashi Dev Rawal
Urvashi Dev Rawal
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Rajasthan News
The responsibility of shortlisting the candidates and training them has been given to the BJYM, the youth wing of the BJP.(Himanshu Vyas/HT Photo)

Ahead of the assembly polls in Rajasthan and two other states this year and Lok Sabha election in 2019, the BJP is readying a cadre of young faces from its state units across the country to be appointed as spokespersons and panellists. To this end, about 250 candidates will be trained on media etiquette.

The responsibility of shortlisting the candidates and training them has been given to the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth wing of the BJP.

Not to be outdone, the Congress too is readying its media teams for the poll-bound states — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

BJYM national general secretary Saurabh Choudhary said the BJP wants to encourage young people who can take part in TV debates, press conferences and engage with print media to effectively put across party’s successes and highlight failures of the Congress and other Opposition parties.

“They should be able to put across the party’s ideology and highlight policies for the welfare of the people while countering the negative propaganda by the Congress and other opposition parties,” Choudhary said.

On the BJYM’s “catch ‘em young” strategy, Choudhary said the party wants to train candidates at the right time. “They will be the future spokespersons and media in-charge of the party units.”

Choudhary said selected BJYM members from various states will be called to Delhi for the training, which is proposed to be held at the end of the month or beginning July. Senior party leaders and professionals will share tips on debating skills on TV panels, countering Opposition on TV, and addressing the media. The participants will also be given tips on public speaking and presentation.

Rajasthan BJYM president Ashok Saini said, “We have sent a list of 15 names. They will be screened and shortlisted by the central leadership.”

Articulate youth, fluent in English, Hindi and the local language, with good knowledge of current affairs as well as the party’s ideology and policies and familiar with social media have been chosen, Saini said.

He said the training would help prepare spokespersons who would be able to take on opponents on their own turf. “Having spokespersons and media in-charge from states will help while dealing with state specific issues.”

Meanwhile, the Congress party too is gearing up and is appointing media teams in the poll-bound states.

State Congress vice president Archana Sharma said the party is short-listing and interviewing candidates who will be appointed as spokespersons and TV panellists. They will also address public rallies.

Rohan Gupta, Congress’s national media coordinator, said an AICC team interviewed around 500 candidates in Jaipur in March. “The team will visit Jaipur once again to shortlist the successful candidates and a workshop will be held for them.”

The candidates were screened for their ideological commitment, clarity of thought, articulation, fluency and knowledge of current affairs, he said.

Gupta said the selected candidates would be appointed at the zonal, district and state levels. “We want to create a panel of spokespersons who can be used across the state.”

First Published: Jun 11, 2018 22:17 IST