‘Target BJP, not Modi’ is TRS strategy on social media

Invest in KTR for the city to continue on its growth path is the direct message to voters

The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) reckons the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as its potential opponent in the GHMC elections but is clearly not bringing Prime Minister Narendra Modi into its criticism radar.

The bombardment of social media posts with pictures and videos, created and being dumped into WhatsApp groups and Facebook pages, just a day after the GHMC poll notification was out, clearly indicate its strategy.

Stay away from criticising PM Modi is the apparent direction from TRS working president and Municipal Administration Minister K.T. Rama Rao. It doesn’t want to antagonise North Indian communities among whom Mr. Modi enjoys tremendous support. “Why bring in the PM in a hyper-local election,” seem to be its plan.

Invest in KTR for the city to continue on the growth path is the direct message to voters through these posts. The posts make it clear that there is a single leader and it is KTR. All the posts give this underlying message as bytes of his speeches at national and internal events promoting Hyderabad to the world, collage of his pictures on flyovers, roads, bridges and sharing the dais with international personalities apart from video clips of speeches are the focal point of the campaign.

The BJP as a party is, however, the target in several posts charging it with failure to bring funds to Telangana and Hyderabad. While the posts accuse the BJP of taking a communal line, interestingly one of them is a collage of pictures of BJP leaders Bandi Sanjay, Raghunandan Rao and Dharmapuri Arvind participating in Id celebrations. “Why are they then indulging in religious rhetoric,” asks a party leader.

TRS is also going hyper-local this time penetrating into the division-wise WhatsApp groups with messages on developmental activities in those particular divisions. “We have set the agenda with discussion on development and will not fall into the communal discussion trap,” says Manne Krishank, social media campaign in-charge. “Mana Telangana Mana KCR Mana Hyderabad.”

The social media team plans to record bytes of 10,000 people highlighting development in their areas, thus negating any BJP effort to change the narrative. The team also plans to come out with a video everyday countering the fake messages or narratives to be dumped in cyber space.


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