Tag Archives: elections 2009

Politics online

22 Apr
watch?v=Cmhq59Nf07cAdvani Adsensed!

Advani Adsensed!

Campaigning for the forthcoming parliamentary elections is not confined to streets, hoardings and loudspeakers. Politicians are using as e-mail, podcasts, SMS and social networking sites and the internet is the new battlefield. After the success Obama had with online tools to rally supporters, campaign and communicate with the people, our politicians are busy trying to woo the tech-savvy middle class youth.

BJP is leading the race with a new look website. Their Prime Ministerial candidate LK Advani seems to be the most net-savvy of our leaders.

His website team has poured in a lot of bucks into Google Adsense and effectively flooding the net with “Advani for PM” messages to catch the attention of the netizens. The party has also roped in a mobile marketing services company, Netcore Solutions to handle the mobile SMS campaign.

He is surely trying to go the Obama way by even demanding to enage with Dr. Manmohan Singh in TV debates similar to the public debates between the presidential candidatesĀ  in the US. Others in the party are not to be left behind. I found VK Malhotra, Gopinath Munde, Dr. Kirit Somaiya, Ram Naik having websites but not sure whether all of them update regularly.

Congress is clearly lagging behind. Dr. Manmohan Singh’sĀ  website is a dampner after the professional lkadvani.in. (I later noticed that it is not the official site.) Embarrassingly it has a link to the party president Sonia Gandhi’s website at soniagandhi.org but it has already fallen to cyber squatters. A google search did not return any official website of both of them atleast in the top few results. Rahul Gandhi has a website but strangely at www.pressbrief.in. Among the other major Congress candidates I found Priya Dutt, first timer Shashi Tharoor, the young MP from South Delhi Milind Deora.

Although the BJP and the Congress are fighting it out in the virtual world, all the other major parties such as the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) also have their official websites. Regional forces like the Trinamool Congress, AIADMK and also the newly formed Praja Rajyam Party have web presence.

According to the recently released BJP’s IT Vision document the party if elected to power aims to “increase the number of mobile subscribers from 40 crore at present to 100 crores in five years. Internet users to equal mobile subscribers. India to equal China in every IT parameter in five years.” However, as of date unlike in the US, the 60 million internet users make up less than 6 percent of the total population. However, the politicians are leaving no stone unturned as this group of educated netizens may be the deciding force this time.

And I am sure the politicians are also aware that there are several online campaigns like the No Criminals in Politics, for instance, which has over 5,000 supporters on Facebook. The youth cannot be taken for a digital ride.

Interested in reading more on the new age election campaign? Read more at :

1) Saheer Karimbayil pointing out that this presents a new business area for the IT sector.

2) India’s election campaigns get Net-savvy

3) Read here what a blogger irritated by the zillion ads from Advani feels.

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