Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

Active social media presence can fetch Congress ticket in MP

The Congress, however, later clarified that this was desirable but not mandatory for being nominated by the party

New Delhi: Congress members keen on contesting the upcoming elections in Madhya Pradesh should have presence on social media, according to an internal communication by the party’s state vice-president, Chandra Prabhash Shekhar.

The Congress, however, later clarified that this was desirable but not mandatory for being nominated by the party.

“It has been decided that an active social media presence is compulsory for all office bearers, sitting MLAs (members of legislative assembly) and ticket aspirants. Ahead of candidate selection for the upcoming legislative assembly elections, it has been decided that their social media presence will also be assessed," said the letter sent out to office bearers and party members, urging them to increase their presence on social media.

Congress chief spokesperson of the state unit, Shobha Oza, told Mint that this was meant to encourage party leaders to get involved on social media.

“It has nothing to do with making it compulsory for ticket distribution. This is not the only criteria to assess aspirants, but it is an important part. However, not having enough social media presence will not be a reason for disqualification," Oza said.

The letter by Shekhar states that key requirements for an active social media presence include 5,000 followers on Twitter, 15,000 likes on Facebook and setting up WhatsApp groups with booth level workers.

It also said that tweets and posts from Congress’ official state unit page should be retweeted, liked and shared on all platforms.

The social media presence of political parties, including the Congress and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, have been significant during election campaigns since the 2014 general elections.

The Congress, which still lags its arch rival in this regard, has been encouraging its party leaders to get active on social media.

“Unlike other political parties whose social media units are run by professionals, ours is entirely run by party workers. At the end of the day, directives like this will help candidates build their profiles online and help them reach out to voters," Oza said.