Chandigarh MC polls: parties harness the power of social media to reach voters


Social media, mobile apps and big data are widely exploited as political parties step up their campaign for Chandigarh’s municipal elections.

While social media tools like WhatsApp, Telegram and Facebook are used to share the party’s vision, big data is used to get to know the electorate better and run a “more precise” campaign.

The MC will go to the polls in December. The ruling Bharatiya Janata (BJP) party is banking on a campaign message focused on “development” to maintain its majority in the House.

BJP State President Arun Sood said the party’s social media strategy was one of the three pillars of his campaign. “We won’t be going for large public gatherings this time around. Personal contact, door-to-door campaigning and social media will be our three pillars, ”he said.

The party has created WhatsApp groups per booth for the city’s 595 booths. Voters in a voting booth are appointed members of these groups. “As the number of members of a group is limited, we try to include the main member of each family in the area. The pradhan stand is the administrator of the group. He knows the local issues and has the data of everyone in the community, ”Sood said.

Woven around its development board, the BJP has shot short videos showcasing its “accomplishments” over the past five years. These videos, usually tailored to a particular area, are then shared on these groups. “We created 60-90 second videos of 50 development achievements,” the party said.

Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is encouraging its party employees to create videos regarding different issues in their neighborhoods and the city. These videos will be shared on various social media platforms including WhatsApp and Telegram groups.

Bikram Dhawan, Senior Vice President, AAP, Chandigarh, said, “We have created a WhatsApp group in different neighborhoods for party workers. Telegram groups have also been created because they offer more flexibility. The groups will also help us to have two-way communication with the electorate. ”

For Congress, a control room has been created in its municipal headquarters in Sector 35. HS Lucky, chief spokesperson for the Chandigarh Congress, said, “Our dedicated social media team is ready and managing the control room. . In the coming days, we will be stepping up the momentum of our social media campaign with videos and SMS. Satirical videos on inflation and other audience-related matters are already doing very well with people. ”

The party has also established WhatsApp groups in neighborhoods and also encourages its employees to communicate with voters in other groups, such as those in residents’ welfare associations.

Big data

Still focusing on the membership campaign, the AAP created a specific mobile app for its workers to help expand its party base in the city and build a large database.

“The app contains detailed information about the electorate in each district of the city. After interacting with people, we can also add more details about a family and create specific profiles. With more information about people, such as the issues facing them and the type of candidate they want, we can create a more precise campaign strategy in the days to come, ”Dhawan said. The app also helps the party keep tabs on the performance of its workers in the membership campaign.

Even in the last election, parties had used voter and social media data. However, this time around, the focus is on streamlining the message, party insiders said.

“The pattern of using social media has changed a lot since the last election. Different social media platforms are used to approach different groups of voters. The message is also made clearer because people don’t even have time to watch small videos because their WhatsApp and Telegram groups are already full of messages, ”said Mahendra Kumar Nirala, organizer, IT Cell, Chandigarh BJP.

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