By Aditya Kalra and David Lalmalsawma
Political parties in India are relying more on social media ahead of the 2014 election as a way of increasing voter support, even though politicians in general do not expect such efforts to significantly influence election results.
India Insight interviewed Arvind Gupta, head of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s IT division, in July about social media and the party’s plans for the elections. Here are edited excerpts:
Why the recent social media push?
It’s not sudden for us. We have been engaged in social media for the last three to four years. It’s been a consistent effort. I think only in the early part of this year, people started realizing that this could be one of the accelerators. I don’t call it a game changer, but an accelerator in this election.
(Also read: Social media not a game changer in 2014 elections)
How big a contribution will it make in the elections?
It’s definitely setting a narrative. It is influencing a lot of people. Now people who use this are using it a lot more than they are watching TV or doing anything else. So if we can communicate and have a good message delivered to them well, they consume that message. So it’s a method of communication. The game changer is the message actually, not the method of communication.
Can it help you win an election?
First of all, no good marketing can sell a bad product. This is a very effective medium for us to communicate all our good things. Everything has to fall in place, it is an additional medium. It can definitely help us win the election if it amplifies our message the way we are expecting it to.