The Congress' Delhi unit, which has so far overlooked the power of the social media, will finally launch its IT cell to drum up support ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
The state unit of the party lags much behind its rivals like the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Both have a fairly excellent presence in the social media and already have designated IT cells. "There will be an IT centre at the party's office and it will chalk out the party's strategy for campaigning on social media," the Congress' Delhi unit chief spokesperson Mukesh Sharma told IANS.
The nine-phase Lok Sabha polls begin April 7, while voting in Delhi will be on April 10. Counting will be on May 16. Delhi has seven parliamentary seats, all of which are currently held by the Congress.
According to Congress party leaders, a trained workforce will operate from the state unit's office located in the heart of the capital. "We will be active on social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter, among others," another leader told IANS on condition of anonymity.
The cell will be launched next week.
The party plans to reach out to netizens - generally the middle-class segment of the capital - with the achievements of Congress' 15-year-rule in Delhi that came to an inglorious end with the victory of the AAP in last December's assembly polls and the 10-year rule at the centre. "The party will interact with the people through these websites on Congress' vision for the country," another leader of the party told IANS.
After its rout in the Delhi assembly elections, the party - believed to be staring at defeat in general elections - plans to reach out to Delhi with a positive mindset. "All in all, it will be a positive campaign ..we don't have to indulge in mud-slinging," Sharma said.
In comparison to the massive popularity of the Facebook pages and Twitter handles of the BJP and the AAP, the Congress is far behind.
Asked if the party was too late in launching its IT cell, Sharma said: "We believe in practical things."
But the reality is quite stark.
While BJP's Delhi unit's Facebook page has been liked by 439,511 people, the Congress state unit has a mere 2,166 followers.
BJP state unit president Harsh Vardhan's popularity can be gauged from his Facebook page. He has 9,000 followers while his Congress counterpart Arvinder Singh Lovely's Facebook page has only 562 likes. But it is the AAP which has taken a massive lead in terms of popularity with 1,705,480 Facebook followers.
The Facebook page of AAP's firebrand leader Arvind Kejriwal has been liked by over 40 lakh people.
While the Delhi Congress is followed by over 700 people on the site, the BJP has over 24,000 followers. The AAP, arguably the most active political party on Twitter, has over 500,000 followers.