Candidates adopt new technologies, including social media, to woo voters

Marrying traditional electioneering methods with new generation technology, including social media platforms, key contestants of Ernakulam Parliamentary constituency are trying everything possible to woo voters.

Realising the reach and influence of social media, including Facebook and Twitter, campaign managers of all the key candidates, including K.V. Thomas (UDF), Christy Fernandez (LDF), A.N. Radhakrishnan (BJP) and Anita Pratap (AAP), are making it a point to regularly post electioneering pictures and news on their respective pages.

While young Congress leaders in the city, including Hibi Eden, MLA and Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany, are focusing their attention on young voters, Congress leader A.B. Sabu is coordinating the other forms of campaign of Mr. Thomas.

“We are making all attempts to reach to the young voters through social media networks and other platforms besides adopting traditional campaign methods such as fixing graffiti, hoardings, flex boards and distribution of leaflets,” said Mr. Sabu.

Mr. Eden took up the responsibility to bring the young voters, who may not turn up for political meetings, but have an active social media life, closer to the candidate. ‘Hangout’ was one such effort where youngsters directly interacted with the candidate. The itinerary of the candidate and pictures from various meetings too were regularly updated on his Facebook page, Mr. Eden said.

One step ahead

The LDF went a step ahead in using Facebook by asking all its Mandalam and local committees to open Facebook accounts. The candidate too opened his page in the process. Besides the conventional modes such as street plays and putting up banners, the front has brought out a DVD on the candidate and a music video and uploaded clips of the candidate addressing various meetings on You Tube, said P. Rajeev, MP, the secretary of the poll campaign committee of the front.

New initiatives

“Meet Christy” and “Why Christy” were the two innovative initiatives which the front tried in the constituency. While grass root level committees were responsible for fixing graffiti and setting up flex boards, all other modes of campaign were coordinated by the central election committee, said Mr. Rajeev.

Think different

‘Think different’ seems to be the motto of campaign managers of Mr. Radhakrishnan. The candidate set off a few sparrows on World Sparrow Day. Laser shows, hour-long video, hydrogen balloons featuring the photograph of the candidate and kites with the election symbol and a picture of the candidate are some of the inventive promotional methods tried by the BJP candidate, said Sreekanth Sreedharan, the campaign manager of Mr. Radhakrishnan.

Poll posters that put cinema posters to shame in terms of quality, stickers that can be pasted on vehicles and round posters too have been tried by the candidate, he said.

The Aam Admi Party is planning to collect the ribs of palm frond from the voters with the offer that they will convert it into brooms for cleaning up the country. The ribs will be collected by the candidate, Anita Pratap, during her next tour to the constituency next week.

The party is concentrating on meeting voters individually. A manifesto for the constituency, for which feedbacks were invited from the voters, would be released shortly, said G.P. Sivan, the party spokesperson.

More In: Kochi