New Delhi: “The 2019 election would not be just another election. It would be a clash of civilisations. You have to decide on what side you are. You cannot remain indifferent. Have faith on your general,” goes the Twitter message of columnist Shailfali Vaidya. It is a part of the social media blitzkrieg launched by the BJP to give a direction of its choice to the election-related debate in the country. The party has decided to adopt the strategy of pushing an agenda a day on the social media to ensure that its army of ‘social media volunteers’ and trolls has something new to say every day.
Three marathon meetings have already been held to discuss the modalities of the campaign at Indira Gandhi National Centre of Art and Teenmurti Bhavan under the banner of India Foundation. It saw a gathering of saffron-minded writers, thinkers, columnists and media persons.
Ministers in attendance
Among others, Union minister for Information and Broadcasting Smiriti Irani, minister of state Rajyavardhan Singh Rathod, NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Gandhi and two officials from the PMO attended the meeting.
Sources say that the meetings were held at the initiative of the PMO. To ensure that the debate and discussions on the elections have a pro-Modi tilt, think tanks are working overnight. New content is being prepared for social media. WhatsApp groups discuss the daily agenda.
‘Positive’ issues on the agenda:
- A girl, who was a manual scavenger, now drives a Uber cab. How did this change come about?
- Did you hear of any kidnapping for ransom in Bollywood in the past four years?
- Did terror attack take place anywhere except Pathankot?
- Who reached LPG stoves to Dalit and illiterate women?
- Who identified the 15 most backward districts in the country and brought them into the mainstream?
(Story: Santosh Kumar)