Politicians embrace social media as Karnataka assembly polls near

2:05 PM, Tuesday, April 10th, 2018
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social-mediaMangaluru: Even as Gen Y is increasingly dwelling in the digital world, politicians too have been forced to catch up and follow these netizens.

Even though the two major political parties – the Congress and the BJP – are yet to name their candidates for Dakshina Kannada, their activities on the social media kick-started at least a couple of months ago.

The Congress holds fort in seven of the eight constituencies in the district. Satisfied with these seven MLAs, sources in the Congress say the party high command has almost zeroed in on fielding the same candidates in the upcoming polls too. On the other hand, the BJP, which has released the first list of candidates for the state elections, is yet to take a call on its candidates for the district.

However, as there is no official confirmation on the candidates from either side, the district units of the two parties and their fan pages have got into the virtual campaign mode in the name of their national leaders. This move is also seen as a safe option as it prevents friction within the party between the ticket aspirants.

While the BJP has been aggressively posting speeches and pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president Amit Shah among others, the Congress is content with speeches and clicks of the activities conducted by AICC national president Rahul Gandhi.

So far, the only party that has announced four candidates for Dakshina Kannada is the CPI(M). As it is the only party that has almost finished its first round of campaigning, its social media handlers have been aggressively posting pictures with power slogans and videos, sharing pictures of these field visits especially keeping the rural masses in mind.

“Social media is a great tool to make sure we stay in the minds of the people. The debates that we carry on social media helps the young voters an idea of what we have been done and what we intend to do. Though we think the traditional door-to-door campaigning is still the best way to reach out to the people, social media certainly helps people register us in their minds,” said Muneer Katipalla, the CPI(M) candidate from Mangaluru North constituency.

Madan M C, Independent candidate from Mangaluru City South constituency, however, has a slightly different view. “While I cannot deny that social media can make an impression, those are paid promotions. I too got an offer saying I will be given a push on the social media provided I paid them. However, I rejected the offer as I have no money and that I want to stay true to myself,” Madan told.

The JD(S) and the AAP, too, have hardly shown any signs of online campaign in the district so far.


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