BJP clicks ‘like’ on Facebook Live for virtual rallies in Bihar

New Delhi: With political activities taking a virtual turn during Covid-19, BJP is banking on Facebook Live to reach out to people in Bihar.

Union home minister Amit Shah would begin the state election campaign on June 7 with the first-of-its- kind virtual rally ‘Bihar Samvad’. He will be addressing the rally from the national capital via videoconferencing. BJP has chosen Bihar BJP Facebook and YouTube pages to reach out to people. BJP is also using other mediums, such as Twitter and Zoom. But Facebook remains the primary platform for connecting with the masses.

On May 30, when national BJP president J P Nadda did a Facebook Live, Bihar had set a target of connecting 10 lakh people from the state. “We couldn’t get the exact data because the the event took place on the national BJP Facebook page. However, we will have data of the upcoming rally on June 7,” Bihar BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal told ET.

“Last year, Bihar had 1.2 crore FB accounts. The number must have gone up but we don’t have the exact data,” said BJP Bihar IT cell chief Manan Krishna.

Krishna said after the announcement of the rally, the Bihar BJP Facebook page got 15,000 new followers. The page has around 3,45,000 followers. “We expect the numbers to increase further and have guided our workers to encourage people to follow the page,” said Krishna.

To give the rally a real feel, a small stage is being erected in the party office in Patna. On June 7, all the senior state BJP leaders will sit on the stage like in a physical rally and Shah will join from Delhi. The programme would begin with Shah being garlanded by a party leader in Delhi.

Bihar has 72,723 polling booths. BJP has formed a team of seven members, called Saptrishi, for each booth. “We are trying to bring YouTube on Smart TVs at places where 20-30 people can sit while following the social-distancing norms. Those who have smartphones can join directly on FB or YouTube. We are sending the links through Whatsapp,” said rally in-charge Rajesh Verma. He said YouTube is better for reaching out to a group while FB can reach an individual. After this, BJP would organise more rallies in June for other leaders.

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