As COVID-19 cases surge across the country, the Congress is focusing on virtual campaigns in five poll-bound states, with the goal of holding virtual town halls, Facebook and Instagram live events, and green rooms for leaders to connect with voters at a mass level. The grand old party had earlier announced its plans to cancel all major rallies and events in the election-bound states. An extensive digital campaign infrastructure is reportedly being built, and the party’s social media team is being enlisted in a big way to boost the messages across all digital platforms.
The Congress plans to reach a wider audience through social media by creating a web of WhatsApp groups at the assembly segment level for political publicity and voter mobilisation during the 2024 Lok Sabha election. Rahul/RG connect will be the theme of an application that the Congress is considering for an innovative online cadre contact system across states. To successfully win the next parliamentary election, the party must radically transform its online strength in response to the exigencies of the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.
Several sources said that a WhatsApp group called “RG Connect 2024” will be launched and its members will be asked to spread the delivered publicity material and political messages further by posting them on their personal social media platforms and relaying them to other citizens. There will initially be multiple large groups in the states, which will then be subdivided down to a zonal or assembly segment level.
They may even be divided up by booths in some states. The strategy designed for the project will enable active members to network with party members and general voters through these WhatsApp groups. Rahul Gandhi’s connection with the party on social media and the ambitious social media campaign the Congress is launching will likely be viewed as an indication that he may assume the leadership of the party at the end of the year, when organisational elections are scheduled. It also suggests that the Congress is focusing separately on the Lok Sabha election which is over two years away, even as it struggles to survive and faces an array of state assembly elections during the interim period.
In conjunction with its membership drive that precedes the organisational elections, the Congress is likely to issue membership cards and enroll its members in the WhatsApp groups. It is also expected to develop a similar interface on all social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.