Cong adopts multi-pronged media strategy in polls

Gandhi had walked more than 4,000 km from Kanyakumari to Kashmir in the Bharat Jodo Yatra and then undertaken the 6,000-km-long hybrid Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra from Manipur to Mumbai…reports Asian Lite News

The Congress has adopted a multi-pronged social media strategy with Rahul Gandhi directly reaching out to people via the ‘speak to the camera’ mode on various issues and deploying of 20,000 volunteers to spread his messages and views on WhatsApp, party sources said on Thursday.

The core theme of the outreach is to directly connect with people and get feedback about their problems, aspirations and come up with solutions in the form of the party’s much talked about Nyay Patra manifesto, they said.

According to the sources, more than 88 lakh people have downloaded its manifesto from Congress website so far.

Apart from his letter to party workers, rallies and press conferences, Gandhi is connecting directly with people through his interactive sessions such as Yuva Nyay Manch, lectures on Samajik Nyay and his outreach to farmers and women in Chhattisgarh and Karnataka.

The former Congress president’s YouTube channel has 5.6 million subscribers and had about 350 million views in last one month, the sources said, adding his Instagram account has over 190 million views and 7.9 million subscribers.

He also has 25.5 million followers on Twitter, 6.3 million followers on his WhatsApp channel and 70 lakh on Facebook.

Gandhi had walked more than 4,000 km from Kanyakumari to Kashmir in the Bharat Jodo Yatra and then undertaken the 6,000-km-long hybrid Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra from Manipur to Mumbai.

Through these two yatras, Gandhi engaged with millions of farmers, youngsters, women, labourers, traders, SCs/STs/OBCs, and made a direct outreach to them.

This also helped the party to understand the pulse of the ground and shape the campaign to keep that genuine feedback from ground, the sources said.

Gandhi has been using the ‘speak to the camera’ mode to reach out to people on various issues.

“There are 20,000 committed volunteers who are directly in touch with more than 5 lakh people via WhatsApp. These volunteers then share the posts/video messages/You Tube Links of Gandhi’s messages, speeches and views instantly with people through WhatsApp groups and other social media platforms,” a party source said.

“These volunteers are in direct touch with Mr Rahul Gandhi’s office. And they regularly provide feedback on each and every content that is being shared/released on social media platforms of his,” the source said.

Chidambaram slams Modi

Former Union Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim that the previous Congress government wanted to allocate 15 per cent of the budget for Muslims as “totally false” and “an outrageous allegation.”

“What he said, I assume that it was in his teleprompter and somebody must have written a speech and put it on his teleprompter and he was speaking from a teleprompter. In that sense, I can only blame his speechwriter for making a completely false and bizarre statement and an outrageous allegation. We have never allocated 15 per cent of the budget to Muslims. That’s completely false and then to suggest that the Congress has planned to have a Hindu Budget and a Muslim Budget is another bizarre statement,” he said.

Chidambaram also dismissed the claim that Congress will present a Muslim budget and a Hindu budget, saying that for the last 75 years, finance ministers have presented a single annual budget to the parliament, which is either approved, changed, or rejected. So, the concept of having separate budgets for different religions doesn’t arise.

“For the last 75 years, successive finance ministers have presented one annual financial statement (AFS) to parliament, which is popularly called a budget, and that is either passed, modified or defeated. Where is the question of having a Hindu budget and a Muslim budget?” he said.

Recently, while addressing an election rally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleged that when the Congress was in power it wanted to allocate 15 per cent of the government budget for Muslims.

Four phases of Lok Sabha polls have been held and the voting will conclude on June 1, with results on June 4. The remaining phases will be held on May 20, May 25, and June 1.

‘Mamata supporting INDIA bloc to save her face’

Meanwhile, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Thursday said that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s decision to extend outside support to INDIA bloc has come only after Trinamool Congress chief realised that she needs INDIA bloc to “save her face and fortune” in West Bengal.

The remarks of the West Bengal Congress chief came after Mamata Banerjee stated that TMC is “very much part of INDIA alliance” at the national level.

Addressing a press conference, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “Now, I think she has been able to read the situation which has been changing very fast across the nation. So, now she has been pleading for INDIA alliance because only the INDIA alliance can save the country from further destruction and despair. She has woken up from her political slumber. Only by citing and referring the INDIA alliance she can save her face and fortune in West Bengal. It is a ploy to save her fortune so that she does not get isolated.”

Chowdhury further said that Mamata Banerjee to date has not explained her “ignorance” towards the INDIA bloc. He also called Mamata Banerjee an “opportunist”.

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