In Karnataka, media teams of major political parties tweak strategies ahead of Lok Sabha polls

Social media campaigns played a key role in the Congress’ victory in 2023 Assembly polls, the party feels, while the BJP claims that its social media penetration is 10 times higher than that of Congress

April 17, 2024 11:31 pm | Updated April 18, 2024 12:35 pm IST - Bengaluru

It has been quite a few years now since the political parties recognised the role of media campaigning and they have been using it to their advantage. In Karnataka, there is hardly a year’s gap between the State Assembly elections and Lok Sabha elections. Counting their successes and failures, major political parties in the State recalibrated their media strategies immediately after the results of the State polls. 

‘Walk the talk’

Social media campaigns played a key role in the State’s ruling party Congress’ victory in 2023 Assembly polls, the party feels. With the implementation of their five guarantee schemes, “nudidanthe nadediddivi” (we have walked the talk) has become one of their popular campaign slogans for parliamentary polls.  

“In 2023, our major focus was on the failures of BJP like malgovernance, corruption, and lack of development. We made sure that we targeted and attacked them for that with PayCM, 40% commission, sonkita sarkara, and such phrases, which resonated with the people strongly. We also then positively brought out our guarantee schemes which helped us win big,” said Aiyshwarya Mahadev, co-chairperson, Media and Communications, INC Karnataka.  

She added: “For the upcoming elections, we have widened our spectrum. Our media strategy is two folds. The first one is our performance in one year since we came to power. The implementation and effects of guarantee schemes, various Bills passed, regulation of tender process, and other infrastructure projects. The second fold is highlighting the failure of double engine government which led to the State being cheated in terms of drought relief, tax devolution and funds for other Centrally-sponsored schemes.” 

Achievement oriented  

The local BJP leaders claim that the social media penetration of BJP is 10 times higher than that of Congress and that they are trying to reach out to more voters through these platforms. 

“The Congress succeeded in maneuvering social media in 2023 and it was challenging for us. It is not the same for 2024 elections. Their popular schemes have not reached targeted communities and we are using media to let people know about that,” said Vikas Puttur, former media convenor, BJP Karnataka.  

He further said: “Across 28 constituencies and on social media, we see a lot of praise for PM Narendra Modi and hence it is not difficult for us to convey our 10 years of achievement at the Centre through media. We are also using the fact that we have a credible face for PM and they do not, for our advantage in our campaigns. We are also highlighting how their ticket have only gone to their kith and kin while our candidates are our party workers, soldiers, and doctors. We are conveying this message across various media channels.” 

PM, HDD’s achievements 

As the JD(S) has entered into alliance with the BJP for the Lok Sabha polls, their attack on both the Congress and the BJP during the State elections has changed. They attack only the Congress now.  

“This time, the scale of our campaign is smaller as we are only contesting in three constituencies. In 2023, we had our own manifesto but this time, we are highlighting various achievements of PM Modi (rather than the BJP) like Fasal Bima Yojana, Kisan Samman Nidhi, and various other farmer welfare schemes,” said K.A. Thippeswamy, senior JD(S) leader and MLC.  

He also said that the war rooms are actively engaged in putting out the achievements of H.D. Kumaraswamy and H.D. Deve Gowda’s illustrious political career. “Reservation for Valmiki and Kadu Golla communities and other farmer welfare schemes are our focus,” he said.

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