With the first phase of Gujarat election just round the corner, BJP and Congress have increased the intensity of their attacks on social media.
Popular figures like Manoj Joshi and Paresh Rawal have been roped in by the BJP to project Modi as the saviour who turned the tables in Gujarat. In another set of videos, the party has also carried the "Maro Mat Gujaratna Hitrakshene" message, which translates to "My vote is for the benefit of Gujarat".
— BJP Gujarat (@BJP4Gujarat) December 6, 2017
He was, is and will always be there for us! pic.twitter.com/KJnSZop6n4
— BJP Gujarat (@BJP4Gujarat) December 7, 2017
Congress has kept the focus on the common man in its campaign. In a series of videos on its social media accounts, people are seen criticising BJP's rule and comparing it with that of Congress.
22 વર્ષના કુશાસનની તસ્વીર..
હવે થશે પરિવર્તન ની શરૂઆત, કોંગ્રેસ સાથે નવસર્જન ગજરાત! pic.twitter.com/nQNLDFIbz9
— Gujarat Congress (@INCGujarat) December 6, 2017
हटेगा कुशासन का अँधेरा#गुजरात_में_नया_सवेरा फसल का सही दाम बिजली का इंतज़ाम कर्ज होंगे माफ गांव-गांव होगा इन्साफ किसानों को मिलेंगे छिने हुए अधिकार आओ, गुजरात में लाएँ कांग्रेस सरकार#NavsarjanGujarat pic.twitter.com/35CyhfI5OK — Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) December 5, 2017
— Gujarat Congress (@INCGujarat) December 4, 2017
From relying on #VikasGandoThayoChe, #Gujarat4Vikas, #ModiCheNe, BJP and Congress have relied on specific hashtags on Twitter. While BJP is sticking to #BJPWaveInGujarat ahead of the first phase of election, Congress is going with #IndiaWithRahulGandhi, and #Congress_Aave_Chhe. Alongside, the grand old party is using #NavsarjanGujarat to promote its manifesto.
However, the battle is not just limited to the official accounts of BJP and Congress. The leaders of the two parties have been taking digs at each other and showing support by sharing posts. Recently, national Information Technology in-charge for BJP Amit Malviya shared a cartoon featuring Congress president Sonia Gandhi, former primer minister Manmohan Singh, Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and his dog Pidi.
In the tweet, Malviya said that Rahul should take his dog's maths class to avoid posting "fake numbers on social media". He had also shared a cartoon mocking the numbers quoted by Rahul during his campaign in Gujarat.
“औरंगज़ेब राज” का आधार झूठ पर रखने का प्रयास? Lies and more lies of Rahul Gandhi... pic.twitter.com/cD8fuQWYuf
— Amit Malviya (@malviyamit) December 5, 2017
Meanwhile, P Chidambaram has remained a constant critic of the BJP.
8. The table tells the story of Gujarat and how, despite the boasts, Gujarat is not ahead of four comparable states. While Gujarat has progressed industrially, in many critical areas of human development, Gujarat may have actually regressed in the last 22 years. pic.twitter.com/IWVCVUI6oQ
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) November 19, 2017
Large sections of youth of Gujarat have rallied behind Patel, Thakor and Mevani. They have not accepted BJP
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) December 4, 2017
A poster, allegedly released by Gujarat wing of RSS, earlier circulated on the social media showing the face-off between "HAJ" and "RAM". While the HAJ acronym stood for PAAS leader Hardik Patel, OBC leader Alpesh Thakore and SC/ST leader Jignesh Mevani, "RAM" was a abbreviation for Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, BJP chief Amit Shah and Modi.
— Hareesh (@Hareesh_5554) December 5, 2017
According to reports, Congress later came up with its own version of the face-off with "RAVAN" and "MAR" posters.
In November, the two main parties in the election race indulged in a slugfest with a series of videos countering each other's self-proclaimed "facts".
કોંગ્રેસીયાઓ ભલે ગમે તેટલા જુઠ્ઠાણા ફેલાવે પણ
જીતશે વિકાસ, જીતશે ગુજરાત pic.twitter.com/XnOaLUsd3s
— BJP Gujarat (@BJP4Gujarat) November 14, 2017
The first phase of the Gujarat election is on Saturday. Although two opinion polls on Wednesday gave a clear edge to BJP, Congress is attempting to put up a fight.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Dec 07, 2017 17:48 PM