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Ahead of WB Assembly Polls, CPI(M) Attempts to Increase Online Presence Through a 'Unique' Campaign

The CPI(M) leaders said that unlike BJP and TMC's social media campaigns, their party is attempting an approach that is bottom-up.

Sujit Nath | News18

Updated:August 15, 2019, 1:55 PM IST
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Ahead of WB Assembly Polls, CPI(M) Attempts to Increase Online Presence Through a 'Unique' Campaign
File photo of CPI(M) party members.
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Kolkata: From wall graffiti to fiery handwritten posters, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is planning to make a firm footprint on social media platforms in a bid to stave off its looming irrelevance in the country’s political spectrum. And its leaders say their online drive is nothing like poll strategist Prashant Kishor’s campaign for West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).

The Left party recently released a circular that read: “Allow us to know you better. Are you interested in working with the CPI (M) on digital platform? If as an individual you want to be a digital volunteer please fill up this form (link to website) with required details.”

The offer was also opened for any private firm. The communist party has decided to increase its online presence after TMC chairperson and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee launched the ‘Didi Ke Bolo’ mass campaign in the state on July 29.

Speaking to News18, CPI (M) legislature Sujan Chakraborty said, “What other political parties are doing with the digital platform is very expensive. Ours is different from them. We want people to connect with us using a creative approach. Although we had done this earlier, this time there is a formal plan to involve more people in our party. It is basically for those who feel for us and want to do something for us on a digital platform.”

The CPI (M)’s planned online campaign assumes significance as it comes ahead of the 2021 assembly polls in West Bengal.

“Our approach is not like Prashant Kishor’s expensive corporate push,” Chakraborty added. “They have a lot of funds but we don’t. Here, we are trying to connect with those who have sympathies for us.”

News18 learnt that the CPI (M) wants to tap all those who are very active on social media including software experts, professors, teachers, students, artistes, businessmen and even government employees. The party’s strategy comes in response to the crippling loss it faced in the 2014 and 2019 parliamentary polls. The CPI(M) faced another devastating loss at the hands of Mamata Banerjee's TMC in the 2011 and 2016 West Bengal Assembly Polls.

“We are requesting people to come forward voluntarily with their creatives to promote the CPI (M) on social media,” said party politburo member Mohammed Salim. “We want to rope in all those who are not directly connected to us but want to do something for our party.”

Salim was the first Indian politician to have his own website back in 1999.

“I would like to clarify that one should not see this as a similar step like ruling party’s ‘Didi Ke Bolo’ or PM Modi's ‘Mann Ki Baat’,” he said. “There, the approach is top to bottom but in CPI (M) our approach is bottom to top.”

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