The Congress is trying to put up a brave front in the face of expected defeat in the 2014 general election. The party's social media team has decided to continue with its social media britzkrieg even after the new government takes over at the Centre. This, the team reasons, will keep a check on communal forces in the post-election scenario.
It's evident that the Congress has woken up rather late to the reach, appeal and pressure of social media. But Rahul Gandhi's team's social media in-charge says that they will continue to build up the tempo irrespective of today's election results.
"It is not about the results. More than the Congress party coming to power, what is more dear to Rahul Gandhi is the protection of ideas," a senior leader in the Congress war room said on condition of anonymity.
A few weeks ago, when more than half the polling for the 2014 general election was over, Congress' social media in-charge, Bhupinder Hooda, had written to all the state units to form a team of 50 volunteers who can work across social media platforms against the BJP.
The plan, the party says, is not limited to the general election, but is a road map for the future. Those working in the war room are also hoping that the party high command also takes it more seriously rather than allowing it to die down. "Seven states will go to polls this year and we want don't want to let the momentum die. Also, the party has realised that it cannot avoid being on the social media platform," said a senior Congress leader.
Compared to the BJP, the Congress social media team lags in political attacks and counter-attacks on social media. The Congress started this expansion exercise just about three weeks ago.
Nearly six months before the general election, the Congress had asked each state and selected five spokespersons and five volunteers for the IT cell. The party high command had then conducted an all-India training for these volunteers. However, despite the exercise, the party remained weak on the social media platform during the election.
"Most of our leaders were reluctant to join the social media platform. They would only come forward for a photo op and then vanish," said the leader.