Several smartphone applications — game and information-based — are available on both Apple and Android platforms
It’s election season, and despite the 24x7 news channels and social media forums being awash with information, sometimes, it is hard to keep track of what’s happening where.
And that’s where, for the smartphone generation, elections apps come in. A number of apps, available on both the Apple and Android platforms, have become quite popular with city residents. The apps span a range of areas.
‘India Elections’, for instance, gives information from the Election Commission website and provides detailed data on leaders and candidates.
‘Indian Elections 2014’ gives a comprehensive overview of elections held in the country from 1947, as well as information on all constituencies. Another interesting app is ‘Election Watch Reporter’, through which users can send in photographs, information or complaints of malpractice. There’s also Chunav ’14, for Blackberry users, for real-time election results.
But if you’re not all that interested in opinion polls, or facts and figures, you could always play a game, pitting one ‘neta’ against another.
Vipin Kumar, a city-based techie, plays ‘Kursi cricket’ on his tablet. In the game, a user selects any one player — Rahul Gandhi, Narendra Modi or Arvind Kejriwal — and uses the number of runs scored by all users at a particular point to convert them into ‘votes’ each candidate has got.
“I read about the game somewhere and downloaded it. I like it, it’s fun to play!” says Mr. Kumar.
Other popular games include ‘Bhaag Modi Bhaag’ and ‘Angry Voters’, based on the vastly-popular Angry Birds.
Tales of political parties showering voters with rich gifts and freebies, just ahead of polls, are legendary. Is campaigning for college elections in the city also ‘generous’?
Well, in Chennai, it’s a mixed bag. There are some institutions where students mimic politicians — a few college polls are heavily influenced by political party representatives and there is some eco-friendly campaigning.
At a well-known city college, contesting the posts of general secretary and president feels like fighting for the chairs of the Chief Minister or Prime Minister.
Believe it or not, the student campaigning cost runs to lakhs. Booking an entire movie hall, a trip to a Mamallapuram Beach resort and a booze party are serious campaigning activities, say students.
Government college elections in city colleges are often backed by political parties with local representatives pumping in money (by hosting parties for students, sometimes giving gifts or even money) for their favoured student leader’s triumph. However, there isn’t any display of political party symbols or flags.
Campaigning in women’s colleges is less aggressive. A famous college terms their campaign ‘eco-friendly’, with nominees permitted only 10 posters for canvassing. The candidate’s victory mostly depends on an assembly address to students.