Smartphones to be Congress' poll weapon

Panaji, July 3 (IANS) Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, one of the biggest political weapons of tghe Congress will be smartphones.

If Congress leader Digvijaya Singh is to be believed, the humble smartphone - which is getting increasingly popular across mobile user segments - has the potential to shape opinions and counter negatives when combined with the social media.

Speaking to key Congress leaders in Goa Wednesday, Digvijaya Singh implored them to start using smartphones and get active on social media fora like Twitter and Facebook to counter the BJP's "disinformation" campaign.

"The computer is old now. What is important is the smartphone. All senior Congress leaders and spokespersons should sign up for Twitter accounts and get their presence felt in social media. We have to increase our people on it," said Digvijaya Singh, who was recently appointed the Congress general secretary in charge of the party affairs in Goa.

His comments come a few months after a study conducted by the IRIS Knowledge Foundation and Internet and Mobile Association of India said that 160 out of the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies would be influenced significantly by social media during the next general elections.

Digvijaya Singh went on to say that the All India Congress Committee (AICC) was in the process of beefing up its information technology (IT) cell with personnel and technological capabilities to ensure that the Congress left its stamp on the virtual medium.

The former Madhya Pradesh chief minister also said that the central IT cell would also help the state unit with the brass tacks of social media and smartphone exploitation.

"The IT cell here has to be strengthened. You can ask for all the help needed from the AICC," Digvijaya Singh said.

"We have to counter the disinformation campaign in the social media which is being carried out by the BJP. The PCC (Pradesh Congress Committee) spokespersons should articulate the views of the Congress and take up the debates going on aggressively. Social media is something we cannot ignore," he added.

He said that only senior Congressmen who are articulate should be chosen to put forth the party's views, and added that in an age of information technology, well groomed personalities were of utmost importance.

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