This post starts with a disclaimer first. I’m not being paid by any Government agency or any related entity to promote as such. Neither I have any vested interest in the same [Smirk].

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Today I came across this interesting website of Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Mr. Lal Krishna Advani. They have officially launched, a website which is available both in English & Hindi as part of BJP’s endeavor to reach out to the growing technology-savvy first-time voters.

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This is what Alootechie have to say about this development:

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According to Prodyut Bora, convenor of BJP’s National IT Cell, has about 150 videos, over 300 photographs and more than 700 pages of textual content. The portal allows users to register to receive email and SMS alerts of L K Advani’s events. Volunteers desiring to work on the campaign can also submit their applications through the portal.

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Noting that technology has changed the way election campaigns are conducted in India, L K Advani has said, after television, internet has emerged as a very useful platform for political communication. “Young people, especially, are using the internet not only to receive information but also to express themselves. We have to listen to their views and voices.”

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“Given India’s predominantly youthful demographic profile, it is estimated that there would be 100 million new voters in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. We want to demonstrate to them that our party and our alliance are in tune with their aspirations and expectations,” Advani has added.

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Now that reminds me of something which will be remembered forever. Yes, I’m talking about Mr. President himself – Barack Obama and how he was able to pull the whole generation, not only from US to win the presidential election but gather enough mass appeal from across the world. So in all internet played a key role if not most part of it to help him glide through.

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Infact, if we look at the stats of his support then words are not enough. Manu Prasad wrote this in his post:

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….meanwhile, in the case of blogs, 500 million blog posts for Obama vs 150 million for McCain. The ratio is almost 4:1 again. On MySpace, 844,927  friends for Obama compared to McCain’s 219,404. On Twitter, Obama 118,107, John McCain’s Twitter followers amount to 4942.(all data courtesy RWW…)

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So this was the US presidential election’s mass appeal where marketing played a key role in blending technology, targeting and outreach campaigns. Now getting back to the Indian case, it’s amazing that how Indian political parties has taken this route. Though we can debate about India’s internet penetration being negligible compared to western counterparts and its population base but I think I have few pointers:

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1. We are looking at 100 million technology-savvy first time voters. So that makes a substantial number in the present scenario.

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2. Remembering the fact that these individuals are mostly early adopters or on the fringes of accepting change. So they can act as change agents/evangelists to spread the word.

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3. Lastly, the recent US presidential elections are still fresh on the minds of people and something like this can turn out in their favor. So I feel the timings could not have been better.

Though there are doubts about this small initiative being a turn around story for BJP but surely it’s a start with regards to accepting internet as a viable medium to spread the word effectively.

So, what do you think about this move? Can this initiative help them to gain enough traction among Indians?

Personally I’ll be watching out this space this for other parties to follow suit.

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