LUCKNOW: With the growing number of Kovid cases posing an unprecedented challenge to the election campaign, political parties have started working on a comprehensive plan to reach out to voters digitally after the announcement of the UP election notification.
The BJP has already warned its IT arm not only to use its grassroots machinery, but also to use the best available technology to effectively connect voters. Speaking to TOI, Kameshwar Mishra, in-charge of UP BJP’s IT branch, said that the best of the available digital mediums like 3D Studio Mix, Zoom and WebX would be used in view of the restrictions imposed by the Election Commission of India. It will be alongside important social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter.
Under 3D Studio Mix, leaders sitting in two different places can be shown on a stage, creating a virtual stage. Mishra said the team used this tactic when promoting the Service High organization. “We will come up with a broadcast link that will be shared across different social media platforms,” ​​he said.
BJP sources said the party has already formed at least two WhatsApp groups in each of the 1.80 lakh polling stations across the state. The group link itself is being shared via social media to connect with the most potential people, sources said.
The Samajwadi Party led by Akhilesh Yadav is also working overtime to join the electoral battle through virtual. Party spokesman Abdul Hafeez Gandhi said the party would choose every possible virtual media platform, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to reach out to the masses. “We will formulate our strategy in accordance with the ECI guidelines,” he said. Sources said the team plans to run small vans carrying LED screens to connect people in rural areas where there is a lack of digital penetration.
The same is true of Congress, which has joined hands with its IT cell to increase its readiness to connect with as many people as possible through digital means. Dwijendra Tripathi, a member of the All India Congress Committee, said that preparations have been made to connect with people through digital at the booth level.
The BSP, which until recently avoided social media, is now preparing to go virtual and Mayawati’s followers will have to wait longer to see her in person. After other political parties, the BSPO is now arranging online rallies. However, a member of the party said that the meeting will be held only after the Election Commission issues advisors in this regard.
Such a move could play a spoiler for the party chief who is waiting to announce an election date to address an election rally. Although leaders of other parties have been on the ground for several weeks now, Mayawati said it was a costly proposition to rally too early before the election and that the ruling party, in this case the BJP, could use the people’s government to hold political rallies in disguise. In government programs, his party does not have the funds to dispose of it. Sources indicated that he plans to start campaigning for the upcoming elections on or after January 15, which is his birthday.
“The matter is under discussion within the team but we are ready to go online if necessary. We will use platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc to reach people. “Links will be provided to the Twitter handles of our MPs, MLAs, senior party leaders, etc. and we will announce the program ahead of time so that people are aware of when Mayawati will speak,” said a party member.
However, even though Congress, SP and AAP have already closed their large rallies, BSP sources say that so far, plans to go virtual depend on ECI guidelines. “The BJP has not stopped campaigning and so, unless all parties are compelled to abide by some general guidelines, we will also keep personal programs,” the member said.

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