It’s Advantage Rahul Gandhi as Congress Ends Digital Detox With ‘Bael Buddhi’ Masterstroke

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The ‘Pappu’ tag which stuck to Gandhi is now being countered by the Congress by calling the PM ‘bael buddhi’. (PTI)

The intention is to counter the narrative of the prime minister and BJP which shows Rahul Gandhi as childish (balak buddhi) as well as woo youth voters

The Congress is expanding its digital footprint. Recent data released by Data Beings, which tracks traction by political parties and leaders on social media, has shown that for the period from June 29 to July 5, the Youth Congress had a share of 47 per cent of total users while Prime Minister Narendra Modi had 16 per cent. The official Congress handle saw 14 per cent of the traffic, while Rahul Gandhi got 10 per cent of the total users.

This is also the period when the Congress unleashed its aggressive campaign and counter to the BJP and PM Modi’s attacks on Rahul Gandhi where he was called ‘balak buddhi’ (childlike mind). The Congress countered this with a series of campaigns terming the prime minister ‘bael buddhi’.

The intention is to counter the narrative of the prime minister and BJP which shows Rahul Gandhi as childish. The aggression shown by Rahul Gandhi as LoP where he attacked PM Modi personally several times has given ammunition to the BJP to label him a non-serious and immature politician. The ‘Pappu’ tag which stuck to Gandhi is now being countered by the Congress by calling the PM ‘bael buddhi’ — roughly translated to someone who has little intelligence.

But why is the campaign gaining traction? BJP says that most of these hits are either bots or handles that have been bought by the Congress to show a surge in their traction. Not just this, many of these campaigns are being pushed by Congress-friendly YouTubers. The Congress has strategically asked the Youth Congress to push these campaigns aggressively and the idea is to tap into youth voters.

Sources in Congress’ social media team say that traditionally, campaigns pushed by the Grand Old Party through their youth wing have done well because they have also been aggressive on the ground. Also, this helps them to tap into youth voters. They hope that these campaigns will be like the woodpecker that will slowly chip away at the macho image of the prime minister.

There are multiple agencies that have been hired to ensure that the Congress captures the narrative in the social media space. For the party, it’s all about playing the mind game. Congress realised belatedly that the digital space — which helped the BJP in 2014 — matters. On the path of course correction, the Congress, for now, has enough reasons to smile as its campaigns seem to be checking the right boxes.

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