MC elections: Social media new platform for poll campaigns
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MC elections: Social media new platform for poll campaigns

Candidates turn to Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Twitter to seek votes and generate support. 

punjab Updated: Dec 08, 2017 14:16 IST
Jatinder Mahal
Jatinder Mahal
Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
municipal corporation elections,MC polls,Punjab civic polls
Congress candidate Jasleen Kaur Sethi showing her party symbol on a dummy EVM to a voter during a door-to-door campaign in Jalandhar on Thursday.(Pardeep Pandit/HT)

Candidates in the municipal corporation elections here, are making the most of the social media to connect with the voters. They are using several platforms including Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and even Twitter to seek votes and generate support.

Considering the reach and popularity of the social media, it was extensively used by the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha election and by the Congress in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha polls. Following this trend, candidates from all parties, the Congress, the SAD-BJP, the AAP are using this platform to directly reach voters.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) district president Babu Neelkanth said that candidates have realised that it is a cheap medium of promotion. “It provides freedom to voice opinions and also gets instant feedback,” he said.

Former leader of opposition in Jalandhar MC, Jagdish Raj Raja said that he has formed three WhatsApp groups and a Facebook page for his wife’s poll promotion, scheduled to be held on December 17. Many candidates have also been posting live campaigning videos on their social media accounts.

Demand for printing promotional material reduces

As the candidates are opting for social media campaigns, printing press owners of Jalandhar claimed that the demand for promotional material has reduced by 70% as compared to the last election.

There are 10 major printing press vendors across the city, which print publicity material. However, most of the publishers claimed that besides a few candidates, the rest have not ordered any hoardings or other material.

The owners claimed that it could be due to GST or late ticket announcement that the candidates are not spending money on promotional materials such as hoardings, pamphlets, handbills, newspapers and advertisements.

Munish Verma, owner of the Seema Arts, said that he was expecting orders in the coming days, as only a few days are left for campaigning.

Sandeep Kohli owner of Kohli Glow Signs said that they used to prepare campaigning material for five parties but this time business was down.

The state election commission has fixed ₹ 2.5 lakh limit for each candidate. Additional deputy commissioner Bhupinder Pal Singh said that all returning officers have been asked to measure poll expenses and to check illegal hoardings violating the code of conduct.

First Published: Dec 08, 2017 14:16 IST