Modi, AAP exploiting digital in run-up to the General Elections 2014

11 Mar,2014

By a correspondent

 

Ask anybody what’s different about the General Elections 2014 and the topmost reply would be the way political parties have migrated to the medium of digital to deliver them a miracle of sorts. A study undertaken by Prof. Kiran Thakur and Sagar Atre at the Pune-based FLAME School of Communication has revealed some interesting findings regarding the use of the digital medium by political parties.

 

The study notes that while the Bharatiya Janata Party (www.bjp.org) and the Congress (www.inc.in), the principal rivals in the Indian political arena, are neck-to-neck in the cyber race, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is ahead in terms of exploiting social media when compared to Congress’ vice presidential candidate Rahul Gandhi.

 

In fact, Modi is the most aggressive user of the website and social media registering about 10 million Facebook likes, 3.47 million Twitter followers and 126969 YouTube subscribers. In comparison, Rahul Gandhi does not even have a Twitter, Facebook or YouTube account.

 

The new entrant, Aam Aadmi Party (http://www.aamaadmiparty.org/), however, has stolen a march over all the six national parties in effectively exploiting websites and social media in the Lok Sabha election campaign.

 

Political Party Website URL Facebook likes Twitter followers YouTube subscribers
Bharatiya Janata Party www.bjp.org 2,544,235 375000 44500
Indian National Congress www.inc.in 2,021,253 135000 5117
Nationalist Congress Party http://www.ncp.org.in/ 208,808 12700 142
Aam Aadmi Party www.aamaadmiparty.org/ 1,670,036 538000 40845
CPI(M) http://www.cpim.org/ No official page 1574 55
CPI http://www.communistparty.in/) No official page No official page No official page
BSP http://www.bspindia.org/ 4909 364 10

 

The study further notes that the websites of the BJP, Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, CPI, CPI (M) and Bahujan Samaj Party do not mention anything about the sources of their funding. The data of their websites and social media was recorded as part of a study on March 6, 2014, when the Election Commission of India announced the schedule for Lok Sabha poll.

 

Though the BJP has a provision for online donation, the Congress expects its well wishers to write a cheque and send it to party headquarters in Delhi via a courier or through snail mail. The NCP, CPI (M), CPI, and BSP do not even appeal to the people for donations.  Only the AAP has an elaborate system to receive online donations, deliver online receipts and compute the data with names and addresses of donors.

 

Of these parties only the CPI (M) informed the people how they spent its funds last year. It has put up an audited statement of the party accounts for the year 2013.

 

The study further notes that the websites of BJP, Congress, NCP, and AAP are updated every day, sometimes several times in a day. These four parties have used these websites as platforms to inform, and educate the people on the topical issues, and stands of the respective organization on these issues.

 

However, no party has ever mentioned anything about their electoral alliances and has explained why they had to enter into alliance in the past or for coming election. They do not have even a formal appeal to voters to vote for their allies.

 

No party was able to upload its manifesto until the day the election dates were announced, because this important document was not ready for any of the six national parties. However, AAP has a unique feature. Its website mentions important issues of 70 constituencies in which its candidates will contest and how they will take these up.

 

The FLAME School of Communication has planned to monitor these websites until the election results of all the constituencies are announced.

 

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One response to “Modi, AAP exploiting digital in run-up to the General Elections 2014”

  1. Join AAP Odisha says:

    The funding system first starts the AAP as they have no financial support to do their campaigning etc. But why BJP and Congress are wanting fund fund from the common men? This is a shameful matter for both of them. They are indirectly trying to capture their vote with their money.

    AAP Odisha