By: M.S.Yatnatti: Editor and Video Journalist Bengaluru: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has added around one million followers on Twitter in last two months, a spike that is seen to be reflective of the Congress' growing presence on social media. According to Congress sources, Rahul's followers stood at around 24.93 lakh in July 2017 and have risen to 34 lakh by September 17. The net growth is being attributed to focused engagements on the social media platform which is attracting attention of the subscribers.K C Venugopal as he is picked by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for election-bound Karnataka to strategize and motivate the party's rank and file and he has already started to restrategize. The restructuring has started from the booth level, which is a key component in any poll. The Congress of earlier days relied on mass movements. Now they have reportedly formed booth-level committees which will have poll agents approved by the Election Commission. Each booth will have a minimum of 13 office-bearers, ranging from president to secretary level. In Karnataka, there are 54,800 booths which will require manpower of 6.5 lakh. Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram now play key roles. Breaking from traditional methods, social media is playing a huge role in the civic polls. Using WhatsApp groups to maximise outreach to conducting Facebook live sessions, the parties are going all out, to reach out to the target audience .Information about publicity about state government schemes and party's decisions and thinking process would be shared through , WhatsApp and Telegram groups.Booth level office bearers conduct meeting and convey information to constituency or district level groups. Congress poll managers feel this will ensure that it gets support of many youngsters. Congress needs to use social media in a very efficient manner under the guidance and control of technical people . When it comes to Congress, however, it is perceived that the party has failed to adapt with the changing times and left behind in this area. Congress on Social Media .The country's oldest party, the Congress, has so far not shown any significant activity on this front. But the party is preparing to up their game through use of social media in the upcoming elections in Karnataka with the help of poll strategist KC Venugopal under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and Siddramaiah and Parmeshwar and with host of AICC and KPCC leaders. But the party have learnt the lessons. The Congress has created a WhatsApp group, down to the booth level in Punjab, In Punjab, the Congress is ran a robust social media campaign as it reached out to a large number of people using Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc. Reportedly it is advised by congress poll managers to create about 54,800 booth level WhatsApp and Telegram groups in the Karnataka state for keeping party workers and voters of the party together. With this, congress need to begin preparations for the next year's assembly election in all earnestness. Congresswants to make use of WhatsAppand Telegram to keep in constant touch with booth level office bearers of the party, and through them, attract voters towards the party. Similarly district level and assembly constituency level groups have to be created. In course of time, congress groups are planned to be created at zilla panchayat constituency, taluk panchayat constituency and booth levels. Congress need to create Instruction booklet towards this end to be passed on to district heads.The congress party, it is said, had identified over 54,800 booths in the state. For strengthening party organization through booth level office bearers, it has to appoint full time 54,800 party office bearers . Through the office bearers, WhatsApp and Telegram groups need to be planned and created at booth level. Office bearers of booth level groups will be members of district level WhatsApp groups it is stated .It is normal for parties to create Facebook pages and WhatsApp and Telegram groups during election. This was being done on the basis interest undertaken by local office bearers. But this time congress needs to give this system official recognition. The congress party can collect information from all these groups, but before such groups can be formed, permission from the president of district level unit must be made compulsory, Under this plan, Congress booth level president will be the admin for the WhatsApp and Telegram group of that booth. Every assembly constituency have 200 to250 booths. By bringing together these presidents, a WhatsApp and Telegram group is created at assembly constituency level. Their admins will be members of district level groups. From every groups, a couple of state level office bearers will be members. Information about publicity about state government schemes and party's decisions and thinking process would be shared through these groups. Booth level office bearers conduct meeting and convey information to constituency or district level groups. Congress poll managers feels this will ensure that it gets support of many youngsters. The campaigning style has indeed changed over the years and, now online campaign is also an important part of the election strategy of the political parties and candidates.
Despite CM Siddaramaiah recommended on the file number CM/313/NOM/17 Dated 31-01-2017 name of Sri Shankar B.K face of Vishwakarma community in Karnataka and congress worker for 25 years worked in various capacities in KPCC for any membership of the board, but till date the orders were not issued by CM secretariat. "Siddaramaiah's assurances to Sri Shankar B.K of the community is aimed to neutralizing and checkmating Nanjundi who has been trying to provoke the community against the Congress. AICC general secretary K C Venugopal need to look into such lapses and correct them before elections as he was picked by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for election-bound Karnataka to strategize and motivate the party's rank and file .During the past four months, Venugopal's sole agenda has been to sort out misunderstandings among members. In an interview, reportedly he said the Uttar Pradesh polls were a learning experience for the party .UP assembly polls: The Congress learnt some lessons from the UP polls where the BJP created sub-castes among castes. Reportedly Working on his caste arithmetic ahead of the 2018 elections, CM Siddaramaiah has started wooing the fragmented Vishwakarma community with assurances of granting land and increasing financial aid to it.The community (comprising goldsmiths, blacksmiths, bronze artisans, carpenters and stone masons) had been obscure on the state's political map till recently . But the CM has put the spotlight on the community by stating "it should be an integral part of the mainstream society", and his government will do everything for them.So, why is Siddaramaiah suddenly so upbeat about this community? Sources said it is part of a strategy geared at consolidating the Ahinda votes. Unlike other leaders who ignored the Vishwakarma community , Siddaramaiah viewed it as a potent political force. His yet-to-be-revealed caste census reportedly pegs the Vishwakarma population in the state at around 15 lakh. This is quite a huge number and when added to the other backward classes' category, the overall number goes up significantly. Realizing there is no platform for community members to hone their professional skills, Siddaramaiah reportedly said his government will work towards opening an exclusive university for youngsters of the community.