If the Congress wins the Rajasthan elections, its leaders and workers can look back with satisfaction on the strategy they had chalked out.
The Congress strategy is centred around exposing the ruling BJP's claims through digital campaigns such as "Jhooth Par Chott, Sach Ko Vote" (attack on lies, vote for truth) and "Rajasthan ka Report Card".
Through its "Jhooth Par Chott, Sach Ko Vote" campaign in Barmer, Udaipur and Nagaur districts, the Congress collected data from ground that sought to expose the Vasundhara Raje government’s claim of 100 percent electrification.
"In Barmer district alone, there were 1.88 lakh households without electricity that we found while taking feedback from the ground for our campaign. Similarly, in Udaipur and Nagaur, 1.63 lakh and 1.09 lakh households, respectively, are without electricity," a Rajasthan Congress worker told Firstpost. "Under the Bhamashah Rozgaar Yojana, only 4 percent unemployed youth got loans at lower interest rate. All this data exposes the BJP's lies of 100 percent electrification and providing jobs to the unemployed."
To nail its strategy, the Congress roped in a professional digital campaign strategist to ensure grass-root connectivity and amplify its message across Rajasthan. This is similar to the strategy adopted in Punjab, where Prashant Kishor and his I-PAC played an important role.
The party's digital campaign strategy that became popular during the Punjab Assembly elections, involved incumbent Chief Minister Amarinder Singh as the protagonist in "Coffee with Captain" and "Main Captain De Naal Naal". Moving it a notch up, the strategy adopted in Rajasthan covers both positive and negative aspects.
"Our strategy for Rajasthan was divided into two aspects — positive and negative. The positive campaign strategy was to highlight the Congress party's vision for various sections of the state, which included the manifesto-framing campaign called Jan Ghoshna Patra and Vijayi Bhav Rajasthan, which highlighted the sentiments of hope and victory alongside the Congress," Naresh Arora, political strategist and director of DesignBoxed, told Firstpost.
Arora primarily designed the campaign for the party, particularly in the area of last-mile connectivity with the masses, and devised themes and strategies to take the Congress party's message across the state forcefully.
"The negative aspect of campaigning was aimed at showcasing the lack of development and non-fulfillment of the promises the BJP government in Rajasthan made. The 'Rajasthan Ka Report Card' campaign showcased the performance of BJP-represented constituencies, while the "Jhooth Par Chott, Sach Ko Vote' campaign highlighted the mood of Rajasthan in terms of discarding the BJP's lies and failures and voting for righteousness and the Congress. The underlying narrative of all these campaigns was data from the ground level, giving voice to the people of Rajasthan through these exercises. These campaigns exposed the lies of the ruling BJP in various constituencies," he explained.
Armed with a degree in textile designing, English (Honours) from Delhi University and five years of experience in digital marketing and content development, Arora's interest in political affairs pushed him into designing digital campaign for the Congress.
"Although I belong to a textile business family, I chose to work as a digital strategist in the political sphere. I set up my digital media company DesignBoxed in 2011 and during the Punjab Assembly elections, we ventured into digital campaigning for 22 candidates. After that, we designed 'Main Captain De Naal Naal', which was a resounding success. We also led a social media campaign for the Congress in Chhattisgarh this season — 'Jan Ghoshna Patra' and 'Jeet Bo Chhattisgarh'. The thrust of all our campaigns is aimed at mass participation, with both feedback and the voice of the campaigns being the people of Rajasthan themselves," Arora added.
The Rajasthan Congress has ensured that all campaigns were people-oriented and made public the primary stakeholders. The party's campaigners used all social media platforms to showcase its manifesto as well as to amplify slogans and messages to attack the BJP. There has been a visible shift in the Congress' campaign strategy since the Punjab elections, which they carried forward in the Gujarat and Karnataka Assembly polls.
"The Congress took feedback from us on several issues much before the election campaigns began and also asked us to participate in their programmes," said Bhuvnesh Jain, a 23-year-old post-graduate student from Udaipur.
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Dec 06, 2018 07:20:34 IST