Political parties may not as yet have fully announced their candidates for the March 3 Assembly elections, but that hasn't stopped ‘poll hopefuls' from resorting to high-tech methods through social networking sites, particularly Facebook, to launch e-campaigns sensing the high potential of the medium in the 2012 polls. The Election Commission's relentless drive to enroll and attract young voters to participate in the elections is undoubtedly one of the major factors behind this unusual phenomenon.

Many politicians, both from the ruling Congress and the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are now on Facebook. Some opened their accounts just ahead of election.

The BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate Manohar Parrikar has a big fan-following on Facebook; the election campaign chief of the ruling Congress and Deputy Speaker Mauvin Godinho, Canacona BJP MLA Vijay Pai Khot, Fatorda BJP MLA Damu Naik, BJP MP Sripad Naik, BJP Goa unit president and MLA Laxmikanr Parsekar are among those who are using the social networking sites to reach out to voters.

Sensing the possibility of the election war hotting up on the social networks, the Election Commission has been quick to impose its model code of conduct on cyberspace, warning candidates and parties to refrain from personal character assassination and communal propaganda.

In Fatorda constituency of south Goa, two young arch rivals of the 2007 election, sitting BJP MLA Damu Naik and his vanquished rival from the Congress Vijay Sardesai, who is looking to avenge his defeat, both have energetic e-campaigns going.

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