Kerala

Tharoor to woo young, on-the-fence voters

The All India Congress Committee (AICC) has assigned Shashi Tharoor, MP, an active role in the Assembly election campaign.

The Congress hopes to harness Mr. Tharoor’s public profile as a trusted social media influencer, academic role model and opinion leader to reach out to apolitical and undecided voters largely impervious to conventional and staid methods of election campaigning.

Mr. Tharoor has a devoted social media audience, both as a writer and Parliamentarian. He is reckoned an online magnet for students, parents, teachers and young professionals.

The Election Commission of India has pegged the number of first-time voters between 18 and 19 at 2,99,258. The Congress felt that the bracket of new voters could make a difference between victory and loss. Mr. Tharoor could hopefully woo them with his messaging.

The new task also accorded Mr. Tharoor an opportunity to redeem the image of a truant leader. His “absence” in the Thiruvananthapuram Parliament constituency during the local body polls had reportedly become a talking point among the rank and file. Mr. Tharoor would also play a role in finalising the party’s election manifesto.

The Congress has also realised that much of the election campaign will be fought on social media platforms. A large group of voters get their news and views on social media. A large segment of them are women.

It has reportedly hired professionals to create inspirational videos and attention-grabbing memes to nudge voters in the UDF direction. The Congress might also bring on board V.D. Satheesan, V.T. Balaram and Shafi Parambil. They have considerable experience in digital media. The legislators have their own YouTube channels and social media accounts with a sizeable following.

Mr. Satheesan is specialised in political programming, with in-depth interviews and analysis on various social issues. The party might also rope in celebrities and “tik tok” sensations to endorse its manifesto. Both fronts are poised to scale up their social media presence in the run-up to the polls.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 11:37:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/tharoor-to-woo-young-on-the-fence-voters/article33649742.ece

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