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Social Media Not a Vote Bank in Punjab Polls

Who says elections are fought on social media? This is not the case in Punjab, at least, where 68 percent candidates from four main parties in contest are still alien to this popular medium. Interestingly, 11 percent of them have not even opened an email account so far.

Pankaj Sharma | CNN-News18

Updated:January 31, 2017, 8:46 PM IST
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Social Media Not a Vote Bank in Punjab Polls
Punjab Congress Committee President Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu during a joint press conference, in Amritsar on 19th January, 2017. (Photo Credit: PTI )

Who says elections are fought on social media? This is not the case in Punjab, at least, where 68 percent candidates from four main parties in contest are still alien to this popular medium. Interestingly, 11 percent of them have not even opened an email account so far.

The analysis of candidates fighting upcoming polls in Punjab from Congress, BJP, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) reveal some surprising numbers.

Congress is fighting on all 117 seats from the state and 96 of these candidates have not revealed their social media account to the Election Commission. As many as 15 candidates from the Congress have no email address, if their affidavits are to be believed.

Interestingly, both Captain Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu, who are popular on social media, have not shared their account with the Election Commission.

Ruling Akali Dal also has a poor share of people comfortable with technology. As many as 74 of their 94 candidates are yet to open an account on social media. Moreover, 17 people from their group do not even have email ids. Surprisingly, both CM Parkash Singh Badal and his deputy Sukhbir Singh Badal are among them as they have also not mentioned their email ids.

BJP, which is fighting on 23 seats in the state, has 18 candidates without social media accounts and one without an email id.

Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP also fielded 43 candidates who do not have social media accounts. Five people in their group do not have email ids.

This is despite the fact that the Election Commission in 2013 issued guidelines directing candidates to furnish details of their authentic social media accounts in affidavits, besides their email ids and phone numbers.
“Since guidelines were issued, action can be taken for violating the rules. The election observers should check this and pursue the matter,” N Gopalaswami, former Chief Election Commissioner told News 18.

AAP Fields Youngest Bunch of Candidates
The team chosen by AAP for the upcoming polls in Punjab is the youngest among four main parties, reveals the analysis. The average age of AAP candidates is 46.39. There are four candidates from AAP in this election who are 26 years old.
The average age of Congress candidates in Punjab is 53.75. The BJP and SAD follow with 55.56 and 56.75, respectively.

CM Parkash Singh Badal at 89 is the oldest candidate fighting this election among the four key parties.

Not So tech-friendly polls

PartyCandidates without
email ids
Without Social
Media Accounts
Average AgeTotal candidates
Congress159653.75117
Akali Dal177456.7094
BJP11855.5623
AAP54346.39110

Source: Affidavits filed with ECI

| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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