AAP hand(le) Social Media in JD(U)’s victory

indexNEW DELHI: The Aam Aadmi Party may not have been a partner in the Grand Alliance, but it can claim a small share in the thumping victory of the coalition in Bihar.
The social media campaign of the Janata Dal (United), which made Chief Minister Nitish Kumar a visible face on Twitter and Facebook, was handled by a handful of AAP experts operating from a small office in Ghaziabad.
“The AAP was handling our social media campaign. Their social media team, along with the JD(U)’s team, was reaching out to the public of Bihar from a one-room office in Indirapuram, Ghaziabad,” said K.C. Tyagi, the general secretary of the JD(U). His son Amrish Tyagi was heading the social media team, comprising 30 members.

“We used to exchange notes with the AAP’s social media team and they used to guide us,” said Amrish Tyagi.The AAP’s social media team was handling the Facebook and Twitter accounts of all the candidates given tickets by the JD(U). “Even Nitish Kumarji’s Twitter account was handled by the team in Indirapuram,” Mr. Tyagi said.
Sources in the AAP confirmed that the party was indeed handling the social media campaign of the JD(U). “To shed the backward image, Nitishji along with other Grand Alliance leaders were introduced to Twitter. Gone are the days when rallies and speeches decided poll results,” said a party member (wishing anonymity).
Punch lines
The JD(U) leader said the social media team of the AAP was constantly in touch with Prashant Kishor, the man who strategised the Grand Alliance’s campaign — from approving punch lines like “Bihari and Bahari” to the colour of the hoardings.
“Mr Kishor, depending on the mood of the public of Bihar, would instruct the team on what kind of tweets and Facebook pictures were to be uploaded,” said Mr. Tyagi.
The AAP, which had successfully used the social media during its Delhi Assembly poll campaign earlier this year, not only helped the JD(U) expand its online base, but its leader, Arvind Kejriwal, also appealed to the public to vote for Mr. Kumar.
Before every round of voting, Mr. Kejriwal, through his tweets, urged the people to vote in favour of the JD(U). The Delhi Chief Minister also asked the Poorvanchalis, who make up around 40 per cent of Delhi’s population, to ask their relatives in Bihar to support the Grand Alliance.
So how much did Mr. Kejriwal’s appeal help the JD(U) in garnering support in Bihar? “The fact that Mr. Kumar thanked Mr. Kejriwal soon after winning the elections says a lot,” said Sanjeev Jha, the head of AAP’s Poorvanchali Unit.(The Hindu)

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