Little respect for poll code on social media

35 political ads were active even after campaigning came to a close

April 10, 2019 12:45 am | Updated 12:45 am IST - Hyderabad

Nearly 35 political advertisements were active on Facebook at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, hours after election campaigning for the 17 Lok Sabha seats in the State ended.

‘48-hour silence’

One of the key phrases used by the Chief Election Commissioner of India was about adhering to the ‘48-hour silence period’, from end of campaigning till polling gets over. “All provisions of model code of conduct shall also apply to the content being posted on social media by candidates and political parties,” the Election Commission had said.

As the low-key electioneering ended on Tuesday evening, the amount of money spent by various political parties on social media advertising showed the nature of the campaign.

Big spenders

The biggest spender in Telangana on Facebook ads was Congress candidate Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, who is contesting from Chevella constituency, which has a mix of urban and rural population. Mr. Reddy spent ₹2,91,002, as per figures on the Facebook Ad Archive.

One of the few Telangana Rashtra Samithi candidates who spent a substantial amount of money on social media advertising was Ranjit Reddy, who is also contesting from Chevella. Mr. Reddy spent ₹65,491. On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party splurged ₹1,66,274 on these ads.

None of the advertisers from Telangana registered for posting political advertisements on Twitter which has a pre-verification policy.

AP splurged more

The low key nature of advertisements and campaign in Telangana can be gauged from the fact that ₹1,75,15,000 was spent on propaganda on Google. The figure is dwarfed by the numbers from neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh, where ₹4,88,96,900 was spent on advertising by different parties.

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