Ground report: Congress social media cell all set to give a tough fight in UP elections

Congress members say that the party has a secret unit of social media cell that which works for the party

Not as widespread as other political parties, the Congress is stepping up to give a tough fight in the social media war. The social media room of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) in Lucknow is buzzing with calls and messages ahead of the high-pitched political battle in Uttar Pradesh.

Inside the social media room, a ‘no admission’ label on the door welcomes us. Nobody but the social media team members are allowed to enter this restricted area. “We don’t want anyone to leak the ‘confidential information’ so we have decided that a designated person will interact with the media and party leaders,” Ayaz Khan, who heads the UPCC Social Media team said.

Apart from the social media room InUth visited, Congress members say that the party has a secret unit in the city also which works for the party. “I don’t know about its location, but we have a secret social media war room which works on creating content and propagating the party’s agenda,” said a Congress leader.

Since the party intends to focus more on Facebook and WhatsApp, the two social media applications with a huge young user base, the team comprises of youngsters in the core team. To make full use of the WhatsApp, the team has created a group of every constituency and all the related data is shared on these WhatsApp groups for proper dissemination of information.

“We have created several WhatsApp groups, around 1 lakh people have been added to these groups. Spreading the party’s message and relevant information has become easier through WhatsApp. We believe that it will also help the party in getting a good chunk of young voters,” said Khan.

In fact, the social media team feels that it was Congress who is to be credited for the advent of social media in India. “Social media has always been important for the Congress. Rahul Gandhi has always emphasised on the use of social media. It was Rajiv Gandhi who brought it to the country. It was a good initiative by Rajivji but unfortunately, we could not cash on it like others. Just like you often do not know the abilities of your own child, we did not know its reach before others used it,” he said.

Whether the social media team is as well-equipped and organised like its counterparts from other parties is debatable, but the team members are trying their best to give a tough competition to its opponents in the state.