Social media emerges as a powerful tool in UP panchayat polls


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Social media remains a powerful weapon of publicity even in the panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh which are scheduled to be held in a couple of days. Candidates have made it a medium to reach out to the people, especially the youth who use WhatsApp and other social media platforms all the time.

Covid cases have surged since panchayat elections were announced in Uttar Pradesh. In such a situation, social media platforms have come handy for candidates who have formed several WhatsApp groups to reach out to the voters with their plans and strategy. Several caste-based groups have also been created to tell voters about the activities and other related matters, besides these groups are used from morning greetings to other electoral agendas in a big way.

Elderly candidates are not far behind in using the social media for publicity. Despite being less educated, they use their children's phones to present their claims and reach out to the people.

Out of the different social media platforms, Facebook is being used widely as it has the option of sharing live video, and this facility is being used frequently by candidates. Candidates' supporters host meetings and door-to-door campaigning live on Facebook. Similarly, some tech-savvy candidates are also seen making full use of Twitter.

Sarita Pandey, who is contesting the Panchayat polls from Padrauna seat in Kushinagar, is using social media platforms to the hilt. She said this is the digital era. "Social media is a good way to reach your viewpoints to people on the go. It saves the cost of posters, banners, wall paintings etc. That is why it is being widely used even in panchayat elections.

Bhai Lal Yadav, who is contesting the Panchayat polls from Mavai III in Ayodhya, said that in modern times, social media is a very easy and inexpensive way to get your point across. "Gone are the days when banners, posters and graffiti were used to make people aware of party programmes, events and campaigning related activities. Every person has a mobile phone these days. Sending a photo with a small caption has become a lot more easy. We use social media for this reason only. Whenever we face any difficulty, our children come forward to help us."

Kanchan Pal, a candidate from the Bahria block Birapur gram panchayat in Prayagraj, says social media is a very strong medium to put your viewpoint. "Forget Panchayat elections, bigger battles are fought here. Now it has reached rural areas too. Using this, we convey our viewpoint in a short span of time to a large number of people. It is also being used to inform the public about our achievements and future endeavours. This is very useful and effective way of communication.

Senior political analyst Prasoon Pandey says, "Social media has now become a very powerful medium for candidates in elections to speak out. It is being used by the youth a lot. It is gaining momentum as almost every hand has a mobile phone. It has become so important that even governments are formed and dislodged on social media. It is being used in these panchayat elections too in a big way. One can reach out to people at no extra cost. This is a big change in canvassing and electioneering that has taken place on our political landscape."

Source: IANS

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