Congress logs in: To scale up its presence on social media

Kolkata:┬áThe Congress is working on ways to woo the youth in West Bengal on social media sites, a move party leaders said would help it counter the BJP and Trinamool Congress‘s campaigns on the Internet.

The state unit of the Congress has been recruiting social media coordinators for each assembly, down to every booth, and is planning workshops for workers and leaders on the use of such websites.

The party has lagged behind the Trinamool Congress, the Left Front and the BJP when it comes to the use of social media sites for political campaigns in the state, West Bengal Congress social media coordinator Anupam Ghosh said.

“We have got clear directions from our party vice president Rahul Gandhi that we need to increase our social media presence in the state,” Ghosh told PTI.

After the recruitment of a social media coordinator for each of the state’s Assembly constituencies, the party will zero in on coordinators for each block and then for the booths, Ghosh said.

West Bengal has nearly 77,000 booths spread across 294 Assembly constituencies.

The decision was taken with an eye on next year’s panchayat poll in the state and the Lok Sabha polls in 2019.

The state has also witnessed incidents of communal violence in Bengal triggered by inflammatory posts on social media which also needed to be countered, Ghosh said.

State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury stressed that the party could not lag behind the BJP and the TMC on social media campaigns when the BJP and TMC were involved in an aggressive social media campaign.

“Social media is one of the best tools to reach out to the youth of the state who are well versed with it – be it Facebook or WhatsApp. To reach out to the youth, a strong social media presence is a must,” Chowdhury said.

A workshop will be conducted soon in Bengal where leaders of the Congress social media cell will train the new recruits.

The social media campaign launched by the state unit would be executed by booth-level committee members and monitored by booth-level presidents and Assembly observers, State Congress sources.

On sites such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, the party plans to highlight the “failures” of the BJP government at the Centre and the Trinamool Congress government in the state, they said.

Speeches and political messages of AICC president Sonia Gandhi, party vice president Rahul Gandhi and state the Congress chief will also be carried on the social media platforms.