India

Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls 2022 | BSP will launch blitzkrieg digital campaign after EC reviews guidelines: Misra

It said the ban on rallies and roadshows will be reviewed on January 15.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will not lag behind other parties in online public outreach in Uttar Pradesh and a blitzkrieg digital campaign will be undertaken after assessing the poll panel’s guidelines post January 15, its leader S. C. Misra said on January 12.

Announcing elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa with a strong focus on digital and virtual modes of campaigning, the Election Commission has banned physical rallies and roadshows till January 15 due to COVID-19 concerns.

Also read | Straws in the wind: On defections from BJP ahead of U.P. polls

It said the ban on rallies and roadshows will be reviewed on January 15.

“The BSP is connecting with the people through Facebook Live and YouTube. Preparations are afoot to install LED screens in different Assembly constituencies to livestream party supremo Mayawati’s campaign speeches,” BSP General Secretary S. C. Misra told PTI in an interview.

Her audio and video messages would be sent to the people, he said, adding that Ms. Mayawati has asked party members to focus on using social media platforms under the changed scenario following the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Mr. Misra said, “The BSP will give a final shape to its digital poll campaign plan when the Election Commission reviews its guidelines after January 15.” He asserted that his party would not lag behind others in the virtual outreach drive in the politically crucial State.

Asked if the digital medium would be effective in taking Mayawati’s message to the voters, particularly in the rural areas, Mr. Misra said, “Today, mobile phones are in every household and people keenly watch her speeches on Youtube.” The BSP supremo has 23 lakh followers on Twitter, Mr. Misra said, adding he has 41,000 followers on Twitter while Ms. Mayawati’s nephew Akash Anand has 52,000 followers.

 

There are thousands of followers of BSP on Facebook and K-App, he added.

BSP spokesperson Dharamvir Chaudhary said the party supremo held a meeting of organisational leaders in Lucknow recently and directed them to go all-out campaigning on various social media platforms.

All party MPs, senior leaders and prospective candidates have been told to get their Twitter handles verified, he said.

“The BSP has thousands of booth-level WhatsApp groups which are being connected with the district-level WhatsApp groups. I am connected with 250 WhatsApp groups. One message received is passed on to thousands in just a click,” Mr. Chaudhary said.

Though initial poll surveys have claimed that the BSP is “out of the race” for power in Uttar Pradesh, Ms. Mayawati has dismissed the projections saying that in 2007 similar predictions were made but ultimately her party formed government.

Contesting on its own, the BSP is seeking to revive its own Dalit-Brahmins social engineering formula in the 2022 Uttar Pradesh polls too.

Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases from February 10 and the results will be declared on March 10.


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