Nearing the assembly elections in five states including Uttar Pradesh, the political parties are going around the clock to sweep the states. However, the opposition parties are now crying their noses off as the Election Commission has completely banned physical rallies and prohibited roadside meetings in view of the surge in Omicron cases. But, why are they miffed at the idea of digital rallies? We’ll let you know.
EC bars physical rallies
While the political parties were looking forward to organising public rallies ahead of assembly elections, the EC shattered all their hopes with one move. No one would have imagined that this election would be made totally virtual.
The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sushil Chandra on Saturday, 8 January declared that “All political rallies will be prohibited till 15 January.”
“No physical rally of political parties, probable candidates or any other group related to elections shall be allowed till 15 January,” Chandra stated.
He added that instructions will be revised and issued after the situation will be reviewed.
Opposition miffed at the decision
Soon after the decision was announced, the delicious meltdown of opposition was witnessed. A veteran BSP leader, who does not want to reveal his identity, stated, “Even if others were to try, it would take longer to build that kind of digital base right down to the grassroots level.”
Samajwadi Party spokesman Girish Tiwari also felt that this order of the election commission would cause harm to other parties. However, he also claimed that SP was the first party to promote IT activities. “Remember, our leader Akhilesh Yadav was the first-ever chief minister of the state to promote IT activities and had started the unique practice of distributing laptops to young students; therefore we also have a digital team,” he claimed.
SP Supremo Akhilesh Yadav also seemed to be angry and demanded funds from the EC to ensure better digital infrastructure. He stated, “The BJP has had a digital infrastructure for a long time, unlike other political parties. We will request the Election Commission to strengthen the digital platforms of other parties so that they can come in a position to compete with BJP. In case there is a need for digital rallies, we need to ensure that other parties are also having good digital infrastructure.”
Why the opposition is fumed?
Well, their helplessness has landed them in this situation. It is a well-known fact that the BJP is the only political party with a wide digital infrastructure with a huge IT cell at all levels, that cannot be touched by any other political party. Thus, the ruling party has surpassed all its rivals in the race to rule.
As per a BJP member, “The BJP leadership has created WhatsApp groups right from the state level and district level, down to block and booth level. As many as 80 lakh party workers are believed to be connected under BJP’s IT outreach.”
Moreover, the BJP’s digital approach cannot be questioned as the network has been tried and tested during the “free-ration” distribution drive first under the banner of the Prime Minister and subsequently by Yogi Adityanath’s state government.
However, the opposition parties lack digital infrastructure. They possibly, due to the absence of a digital base at the grassroots level, may not reach out to their target voter. Bereft of any solution to fight BJP in upcoming elections, the opposition has gone berserk.