‘Kaam Bolta Hai’ for ‘UP Ke Ladke’ in Sa­ma­jwadi Party’s War Room

‘Cam­paign is pos­i­tive, doesn’t troll ad­verse opin­ion & is re­flec­tive of CM’s char­ac­ter’ CM Akhilesh is said to be hands-on when it comes to cam­paign strat­egy

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

Luc­know: Live stream­ing on Face­book of CM Akhilesh Ya­dav’s ral­lies, a ‘sen­ti­ment anal­y­sis’ tool to as­sess au­di­ence re­ac­tions, 10 young­sters back from the US with lessons fromHil­laryClin­ton’scam­paig­nand a war room led by four ‘UP Ke ladke’ — this is how SP is driv­ing its elec­tion­eering­inUP,seek­ing­toout­dothe BJP’s pub­lic­ity ma­chin­ery.

One of five teams with mul­ti­ple­cam­era set-ups is al­ways po­si­tioned at each of the CM’s ral­lies to pro­vide the feed that is streamed live on Face­book, akin to what the BJP does for PM Modi’s speeches. Ya­dav is ex­pected to ad­dress al­most 300 ral­lies byMarch6evening.At­the­war­room in Luc­know, four young­sters from the state are run­ning the show — exBBC em­ployee Ashish Ya­dav is in charge, ‘Piku’ lyri­cist Manoj Ya­dav pens cam­paign songs, Go­zoop CEO Ahmed Aftab Naqvi is the chief dig­i­tal strate­gist and Full­bright fel­low from Har­vard Univer­sity An­shu­man Sharma han­dles re­search.

“Our dig­i­tal con­tent has crossed over500cror­eim­pres­sions­bytheend of phase one. We reach more than 25 lakh peo­ple daily on What­sApp. It is a pos­i­tive and de­vel­op­ment-fo­cussed cam­paign,” Naqvi said.

The party is also ag­gres­sively push­ing the ‘Kaam Bolta Hai’ theme on Instagram, YouTube, third-party web­sites and mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tions. Some of these strate­gies have come fromtheUS­ex­pe­ri­ence.Par­tyspokesman Shar­ven­dra Singh was among the 10 peo­ple who were in Ohio from Septem­ber to Novem­ber, vol­un­teer­ing with the Clin­ton cam­paign.

“Call­ing up peo­ple, pre­par­ing data, me­dia man­age­ment, so­cial me­dia cam­paigns and door-to-door cam­paign­ing — we did it all,” Singh said.

Nidhi Ya­dav, SP can­di­date from Han­dia, and spokesper­sons Nasser Salim and Pankhuri Pathak were also part of the group that spent time in the US. Ashish’s team is fo­cussed on pre-rally re­search and post-rally feed­back, sen­ti­ment anal­y­sis via an on­line tool af­ter each cam­paign and brief­ing party spokesper­sons.

“After­aCMral­ly­isover,our­work­ers speak­topeo­plep­re­sent­there­toassess what rang a bell with the crowd. Lately, Dim­ple Ya­dav’s mes­sage to vot­ers in Agra to vote for their ‘Akhilesh bhaiya’ and the CM’s words that he­does‘KaamKiBaat’and­not‘Mann Ki Baat’ like the PM at­tracted huge trac­tion. We send such daily re­ports to the CM,” Sharma told ET.

The ‘sen­ti­ment anal­y­sis’ tool maps there­spon­setofresh­con­tentre­leased by the party. “This pro­pri­etary tool helps in pre­dic­tive anal­y­sis and getting smarter,” Naqvi said. Ashish stresses the “cam­paign is pos­i­tive, does­not­trol­lad­verseopin­ionor­crit­i­cise other par­ties on a per­sonal level and is re­flec­tive of CM’s char­ac­ter.”

Ashish, 36, hails from Jhansi and is the old­est mem­ber in the war room. He­work­spro-bono­likeSharma,who is from Bu­land­sha­her. This team co­or­di­nates with Congress strate­gist Prashant Kishor for the joint ral­lies, road­showsand­press­meets.“We­have many PKs,” an SP leader quipped.

Mano­jsayshis­brief wasto­fo­cu­son the CM’s de­vel­op­ment work. “Kaam Bolta Hai is a fan­tas­tic punch line — some­thing akin to the im­pact BJPs ‘Achhe Din’ line in 2014,” a se­nior SP leader said. Demo­cratic Party ad­vi­sor Ger­ald Austin had told the CM that vot­ing pat­terns have changed and “peo­ple may well vote for a leader look­ing just at the rim of his eye,” a se­nior SP leader told ET.

Ahmed Aftab Naqvi, An­shu­man Sharma, Manoj Ya­dav and Ashish Ya­dav (From L to R)

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