Millennium Post

Ahead of Delhi elections, BJP unleashes social media army

Ahead of Delhi elections, BJP unleashes social media army

New Delhi: While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is not likely to surprise anyone by being the last to announce its candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections in Delhi, the party's poll machinery behaviour has become synonymous to the way swans move on the water-a calm exterior above water and feet peddling stupendously underwater.

The saffron party, which is looking to up its share in the Assembly this year from three, has already unleashed an army of more than 13,500 loyal party cadre members to spearhead the social media campaign for the upcoming polls.

Speaking to Millennium Post, the Delhi BJP's Social Media and IT in charge, Punit Agarwal said that their campaign on social media is set to achieve new records in terms of audience engagement and reach given their infiltration strategy in reaching to voters. Agarwal said that like everything else the party does, their social media campaign for Delhi elections has been meticulously decided upon and includes the active participation of the party workers, working at the booth-level.

The BJP's social media strategy is quite simple. According to Agarwal, the idea had always been to find a way into the discourse of local and closed groups of residents' associations, traders associations and other such resident specific closed social circles. And this is where Agarwal said, their large party cadre comes in handy.

"We have at least five-to-six party workers at every polling booth in Delhi so that they can take our message to the local residents of the area. This way the dissemination work is further decentralised and the message reaches more people," Agarwal said, adding that this was the unique edge that his party would have in the poll campaign, which has already started since the Election Commission announced the poll dates.

Despite the IT cell's overbearing influence that can sometimes be seen on traditional social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, Agarwal said that for the poll campaign, their social media team is likely to focus on how to milk the most out of WhatsApp, which otherwise is used a messaging application.

The BJP's thinking in this area, according to some officials of the social media team, comes from the fact that WhatsApp holds more significance for voters than Facebook or Twitter. Agarwal said that chatting up is something that people check more often during a day and hence it is the perfect place to start disseminating the party's message.

Coming to the message, the party has kept its line quite clear and said that it will focus on what the BJP dominant MCD and Central Government has achieved to reach out to the people, in addition to what it has called "exposing the Kejriwal government". The Delhi BJP social media chief also made a tall promise of not using paid promotion for the upcoming campaign but later added that they might use it depending on what things look like closer to the poll dates.

Abhinay Lakshman

Abhinay Lakshman

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