The ruling YSR Congress party in Andhra Pradesh led by chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy boasts of having a strong social media network and a mechanism to counter the opposition Telugu Desam Party.
The YSRC leaders have mastered the art of making an aggressive attack on the TDP and other opposition parties with their statements, tweets and press conferences. The YSRC social media activists indulge in abusive attack on the TDP and run it down.
But they clearly lack a strategy on how to get positive image for the government in general and the chief minister in particular. As a result, the party is getting a negative talk among the people for their overemphasis on running down the TDP, rather than building the image of the Jagan government.
In this, the YSRC, for that matter Jagan, has to learn a lot from the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi in the neighbouring state; particularly from its working president K T Rama Rao.
The TRS has mastered the art of curtailing the opposition and countering its campaign without having to attack it with abusive and ugly language.
The TRS doesn’t have much support from the entire media in Telangana, but the party has been adopting a clever strategy in the social media and outdoor publicity.
Take the ongoing publicity blitzkrieg in Hyderabad on the occasion of Bharatiya Janata Party’s national executive committee meeting being held at Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC), attended by top BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah and national president J P Nadda.
While the BJP sought to gain maximum mileage through massive outdoor campaign, the TRS effectively and intelligently countered it. The ruling party booked all hoardings, bill boards and advertisements spaces well in advance and filled it up with the pictures of KCR and his government’s achievements.
They also put up huge hoardings questioning Modi’s failures. And on the day when Modi was coming, the TRS painted the entire city pink with its flags, boards and banners, especially near Raj Bhavan where Modi would be staying, to welcome opposition candidate for Presidential elections Yashwant Sinha.
KCR himself took Sinha in a huge rally of 20,000 party workers from Begumpet airport to Necklace Road, where he addressed a meeting.
Now, whoever came to the city, was wondering whether it was the TRS function of the BJP event. The opposition campaign was completely overshadowed by the TRS.
At the same time, the social media is being bombarded with the TRS publicity highlighting the KCR government’s achievements and failure of the Modi government.
The open letter written by KTR to Modi got wide publicity in the media. Cleverly, the TRS also released huge front page ads to the media to deny the opportunity to the BJP.
Now, this is a lesson to the YSRCP. The party might have strong social media presence, but it is lagging behind the TRS in publicising the Jagan government’s achievements. The party is using the police to harass the opposition party workers for negative comments, but it is only backfiring on them.
The social media organisers and the YSRC leaders are least bothered about earning the mileage to the government. Even the state publicity wing is more interested in giving crores of rupees of advertisements to Sakshi media house but it only brought a negative talk.
One wonders what the audio-visual publicity wing of the state government is doing in promoting the government schemes. And Jagan has no time to look into all these things!