SANTOSH KUMAR PATHAK
New Delhi, Oct 5 (IANS) Social media in past few years has emerged the new battlefield in electoral politics.
These days, social media is playing a significant role in influencing voters and this is the reason why the importance of social media has increased a lot in the present election scenario.
Talking about political parties, the BJP was first to realise the importance of social media. Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had extensively used social media to create an atmosphere in its favour across the country.
The Congress could not understand the importance of social media during the earlier days, but the continuous electoral defeat made it realise that they have to beat the BJP not only on the ground but also on social media platforms.
Gradually, all other political parties in the country became active on social media platforms and almost every party has also constituted IT cell to handle their social media platforms.
However, in recent years, both BJP and Congress have up their ante significantly when it comes to social media.
The leaders, workers and people associated with the IT cells of both the parties, constantly attack each other on social media platforms. Day by day these political fights are getting murkier and are now reaching the police stations, and even to the courts.
Recently, Congress MP Hibi Eden filed a police complaint accusing BJP leader Priti Gandhi of spreading fake and divisive news to disrupt Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra.
Eden alleged that the BJP leader in a tweet shared a set of picture that sought to convey that former Congress president Rahul Gandhi is posing with an individual who had been accused of sloganeering “Pakistan Zindabad” in past.
Congress general secretary and communications in-charge Jairam Ramesh shared the copy of the Congress MP’s complaint on Twitter itself, saying that he had initiated legal action against the “online hate factory” of BJP leaders and their devotees and the Congress will not take such a case lightly.
However, BJP leader Priti Gandhi told IANS that before her tweet, over a hundred people had already tweeted the same pictures and when she realised that the girl in both the pictures are different, she immediately (within minutes) deleted her tweet.
The BJP leader also refuted the online hate factory allegations and said that she stands by her tweets about Rahul Gandhi’s meeting with the priest who “seeks to divide the country” and the one which was about Kanhaiya Kumar. Priti Gandhi asserted that she will continue to raise the question whether it is “Bharat Jodo Yatra” or “Bharat Todo Yatra.”
She said that it is her right to ask this question and will she be put in jail for asking this question?
Responding to the reasons for social media battles reaching police stations and courts, the BJP leader said that the (state) governments led by parties like Congress, Left Front, Aam Aadmi Party and Trinamool Congress are misusing their police.
Priti Gandhi also said that the Congress party, which ruled the country for 70 years, had set many “wrong narratives” as per its convenience and today common people, empowered by social media platforms, are exposing it by questioning the “wrong doings” and the “wrong narrative”.
Social media had become a political battle ground long ago, but now leaders have started attacking each other on it.
Recently, Congress media in-charge Pawan Khera shared the criminal complaint made by his party leader against the BJP leader on Twitter, to which BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya retaliated and alleged that the Congress implicating BJP workers in fake cases in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
Malviya accused the Congress of misusing its Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh governments to file fake cases against BJP workers.
The BJP IT cell head, responding to the FIRs being made by Congress leaders against BJP workers, said that “fake FIRs are being registered against BJP workers and the party will answer all these matters in court”.
He made it clear that the BJP will stand with its people.
SANTOSH KUMAR PATHAK