here are two national parties in India and these days, both are very much active on the social media than the real life. Both the political parties have their paid volunteers and followers to boost their voices. Congress became much more visible in the recent time, earlier they were there for namesake. BJP was always active on each social media especially Twitter and they started their campaign from micro-blogging. They have trained social media campaigners and there is a huge volume of these supporters. They not only retweet the tweets of the Prime minister and BJP leaders but they are also always attentive by straining their guards against the critics and the campaigners of the other side, they have literally hooted out many scribes and celebrity Twitter handles. That is the power of their way of handling social media.
After a long haul, Congress became active and Rahul Gandhi got acceptability among the young age group. He added a million Twitter followers. Facebook and Twitter following of the Youth Congress and National Students Union of India have seen similar spikes. The people behind this change of sorts are many, earlier the communications strategy group had Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, Anand Sharma, and Jairam Ramesh, encouraged with the inclusion of younger leaders like Randeep Singh Surjewala, Sushmita Dev, and Rajeev Gowda. Later on, Congress introduced several new spokespersons to showcase how it represents all sections. Shama Mohamed, who on her Twitter profile describes herself as a “nationalist who believes Hinduism is my culture”, Punjab leader Manpreet Singh Badal, Kamlakar Tripathi, Digvijay Singh, and so on are the additional forces.
The party’s communication department’s real work had started in the run-up to the Delhi civic polls. Under Delhi unit chief Ajay Maken, workers phoned 250,000 people known to have been Congress supporters to identify 40,000 dedicated ones. They were asked to contribute on the ground by helping party candidates, and also on the social media by spreading the party’s message.
As the time passed, Congress needed new faces to add charm to their campaign and here came the fairer side of their team. Earlier, only Priyanka Chaturvedi was vocal and in support with Congress on social media. She is the National Spokesperson of the Indian National Congress. Priyanka managed her show quite well and had every grace to counter-attack opponents and simultaneously defend the stand of her party. Those interchanges might be one of the first times that social media played a direct and credited role in hearing Congress after 2014 defeat. She joined Congress in 2010 and became the General Secretary of Indian Youth Congress from North-West Mumbai in 2012. Chaturvedi has a significant presence on Twitter and is known for defending policies of ruling Congress party on Twitter. Because of this, in May 2013, Chaturvedi was elected as the Spokesperson of AICC. As a spokesperson of the Congress Party, Chaturvedi often takes part in political debates on TV News Channels. She is also a member of ‘Communication Department’ headed by Randeep Surjewala and takes part in political debates in Social Media. She is a vociferous critic of Bharatiya Janata Party and its leader Narendra Modi. Congress supporters exposed many false claims of the ruling party, they might have shrunk to the size after the 2014 elections but within no time, they bounced back with a stream of support and did reasonably good in Gujarat, Karnataka, Goa, Punjab, and other states too. The credit largely goes to the Social Media.
The booming use of the social media among legislators, workers, and social media teams has erased some of the traditional blocks, more specifically the missing interactivity for the flow of news between the members, constituents, and voters.
Congress IT Cell head Divya Spandana and Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi are two prominent female personalities in the Congress Party. Priyanka and Divya Spandana enjoy their respective audience. In today’s digital world, one who has good social media presence gets a bigger audience and this is what creates a difference between Divya Spandana and Priyanka Chaturvedi. But there is no comparison between these two. Priyanka worked vigorously towards Congress on social media, whereas Spandana revived it.
Divya Spandana had on-screen experience and was often preferred for television debates over Chaturvedi. In fact, both these faces are equally beautiful — they both are intelligent and very dignified personas. However, there is always a need for new and upgradation in every aspect! Spandana somewhat pierced Chaturvedi’s aspirations on many fronts. Divya Spandana, on her part, didn’t see any wrong in appointing someone who was actually an MP – something Chaturvedi couldn’t even dream of. Priyanka Chaturvedi wanted to become the head of the Congress IT Cell but she was in another major role. Of late, its social media and ground campaigns have evoked a good response. Divya Spandana actually grown with Congress party at home and her mother, Ranjitha, is a senior member of the Congress Party in Karnataka. Spandana joined the Indian National Congress in 2012 as a member of its youth wing; she later won a 2013 by-election to become a Member of Parliament for Mandya constituency in Karnataka but was defeated in general elections the following year. She was appointed as the head of Congress’ digital media team and had been credited by media outlets for having transformed the political party’s image on social media. In May 2017, she was given the task of reviving INC’s social media wing and was made the National Head of Congress’s digital team at national level. She took over the social media team from Deepender Singh Hooda and she was helpful in turning around Rahul Gandhi and INC’s social media image.
Recently, there was a speculation that Divya Spandana was apparently upset with Congress Party and there was an assumption that she had stepped down as its social media head. If this is true, then there is no one like Priyanka and Divya who can really bring a difference to Congress on the digital front. There are many other noticeable female supporters who are holding the standards of Congress — Haseeba Amin, Ruchira Chaturvedi, Shilpi Singh, Radhika Khera, Kirtana, Sonakshi Vashishtha, Vidya, Ruchira Chaturvedi and so on but what all needed is content for them. Somewhere, their party president and leaders need to realise that the strategy alone is not enough. These young women need appropriate content and enough footholds to spread their wings. If we look at the larger picture, BJP has more woman portfolios in social media segment than Congress, this fairer force of BJP has actually become the backbone of its entire campaign, no doubt the way they make every effort, Congress still lacks it. No doubt, even Congress’ campaigners are making every effort to project Congress and its Star campaigner Rahul Gandhi, but there is no assurance of future.
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