Congress plans Rs 100 crore social media war chest

Sibal stresses on need to take on BJP in the new arena to woo middle class

bhavdeepkang

Bhavdeep Kang | January 19, 2013


Sonia Gandhi addressing a party chintan shivir session in Jaipur
Sonia Gandhi addressing a party chintan shivir session in Jaipur

The Congress party would require Rs 100 crore during the next 18 months - till the Lok Sabha elections - to counter the main opposition BJP in the field of social media, telecom minister Kapil Sibal said at the session on emerging political challenges at the party's Chintan Shivir at Jaipur on Saturday.

The BJP, he said, had a hundred people tweeting against the Congress in the morning. By afternoon, the tweets would become news on TV channels and by the next day, they became headlines in the print media.

Sibal made a strong case for a pro-active approach to the social media. He pointed out that the BJP made extensive use of the social media to reach out to the middle class. He referred to the anti-government blitz on social networking sites following the brutal bus rape case and earlier during the Anna Hazare-led agitation for a Jan Lokpal Bill, which snowballed into street protests.

Also read: A lot left unsaid in Sonia's address

With the increasing penetration of the internet across social classes, the Congress should not be squeezed out of that space, Sibal said. He pointed out that elections in nine states and the Lok Sabha polls were imminent, so the party would have to undertake a strong counter-offensive on a war footing.

Digvijay Singh, who heads the committee on communications strategy, said the party was concerned about the march the BJP had stolen in terms of the social media. "Narendra Modi has a sanchar kendra near Ahmedabad for tracking the social media," he said, adding that a report on a counter-strategy would be submitted to Rahul Gandhi in the next ten days.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi spent almost two hours at the session on emerging political challenges at the Congress chintan shivir in Jaipur, in the course which the three Cs were discussed: communalism, corruption and coalition. She maintained a studious silence throughout.

Science and technology minister S Jaipal Reddy made two significant points. He said the Congress would have to undertake an exercise in social engineering in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in order to establish itself in those states. He said that OBCs should be actively wooed. He also expressed the view that the Congress should not be on the defensive on the corruption issue. It should not appear in the public mind as being the source of corruption but should take the issue head on. Among others who spoke was information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari. 

In the session on socio-economic issues, delegates strongly felt that the government's repeated doses of economic reforms should be tempered with welfare measures before going to polls. Congress leader Vayalar Ravi said there was no need to be wary of UPA II being seen as a pro-subsidy regime, because the US and OECD countries too disbursed heavy subsidies to farmers.

On Friday, the first day of the three-day conclave, the Congress president attended the session on the party organization and on women's empowerment, spending 45 minutes at each venue.

Comments

 

Other News

Battle over cattle, Delhi govt schools lead the way and, why we must return to Gandhi & Tagore

On May 23 this year, the ministry of environment issued ‘Rules on prevention of cruelty to animals (regulation of livestock market)’ with the purported aim of regulating animal markets. When one reads the rules – notwithstanding the lame efforts from union ministers to issue clarificati

BEML unveils 9 MW capacity windmill park

  BEML, a mini ratna category-1 enterprise of the defence ministry, has set a target of using 100 percent renewable energy for its own consumption.   In this connection, BEML’s 9 MW Windmill Park installed at Bagalkot District in Karnataka was recently

BHEL registers increase in intellectual capital

  Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), a Maharatna enterprise, has recorded nearly 14 percent growth in its intellectual capital in 2016-17 fiscal. During the year, a record 508 patents and copyrights were filed by the company, translating into filing of nearly two patents/copyrights

NALCO partners with CII, Odisha for outreach programmes on GST

  National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) has joined hands with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Odisha, to organise outreach programmes for industries and other stakeholders on GST implementation.   Series of interactive programmes are being

EPFO inks MoU with HUDCO for Housing for All by 2022

  Taking prime minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Housing for all by 2022’ forward, Employees` Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has amended the EPF Scheme, 1952 to provide assistance in acquiring affordable houses to the EPF members by allowing withdrawal from PF to

IndianOil LPG import terminal to reduce refill backlog in Kerala

IndianOil is currently transporting bulk LPG from Mangalore to various LPG bottling plants in north Kerala through about 100 bullet trucks every day, which ply on narrow highways. A pipeline connecting the proposed LPG import terminal to Kochi Refineries Limited and the LPG bottling plants at Udayamperoo



Video

पाकिस्तानी सेना कैमरे में कैद करना चाहती थी ये हमला

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter