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5 Things TDP can learn from BJP’s election machinery


Have you ever thought of how the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) targets elections so well and gets it right most of the time? They have set the standards in running an efficient and almost workable winning model for elections. 
 
Well, for starters, the Telugu Desam Party, which in itself has the strongest and most loyal cadre in Andhra Pradesh, can modify its approach to elections and learn from the saffron party’s strategies. 
 
Here are important details:
 
1.Below-the-radar messaging: BJP relies heavily on conspiracy theories and has a great tool for propagating such messages through closed WhatsApp groups, doorstep messaging and open platforms (like Facebook, Twitter, media, etc). These three play a crucial role in BJP’s social messaging strategy. 
 
It is done systematically where in a series of messages, the party establishes the Opposition as the villain along with other characters it chooses to play with. These messages in whatsapp groups, social media platforms and media take a life of their own.
 
2. Door-to-door campaigning: The BJP clearly sets a set of tasks for its cadre to accomplish through its massive worker-member model. Basically, most BJP workers do not have time to breathe as they need to reach these goals and report them to their bosses. This way, they are diligent, efficient and finish tasks as they are being tracked by their heads. This is also one of the reasons why the BJP’s base across the country has been going up quickly. 
 
3. Micro-targeting: While we are not completely aware of the way it does micro-targeting, it is clear that the BJP uses social media platforms such as Facebook as well as Twitter for micro-targeting through advertisements. 
 
Given that India doesn’t have data privacy laws, it is easier for political parties to get details of Aadhaar and beneficiaries of various government schemes. This helps in understanding and tracking voters directly, understanding the kind of phones they own and crunching data accordingly, to suit their attributes. 
 
4. Great media strategy: The BJP clearly knows who to appoint as spokespersons and face of the party to represent the saffron party’s issues nationally. It carefully chooses its media faces, based on their talent and oratory, along with subject knowledge. 
 
Take Nirmala Sitharaman for instance who served as the party’s national spokesperson before she won plum posts in Modi’s ministry. The BJP carefully crafts its image in the media and ensures that only its assigned faces attend media debates and stick to the point. Otherwise, it cracks a whip on those violating the party’s rules. 
 
5. Money machinery: While all political parties utilise the power of money for electioneering very well, the cost for elections in the Telugu States and South is unusually high in the country. The BJP focuses on specific targeting in such cases. It ensures that the estimated cost per constituency is assured from various sources. The party spends money in constituencies it is sure to reap benefits from or win a seat. Wherever required, they even go overboard in spending if they have to win the election. 
 
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In all the five reasons listed above, TDP has many drawbacks. From focussing too much on non-performing leaders to lack of a strong on-field workforce and internal squabbles, TDP needs to also improve its media appeal by having young and talented faces with subject knowledge, representing the party at the right platforms. 
 
Merely focussing on spending crores of money on electioneering and wrong targeting as well as choosing lousy candidates, the TDP needs to shift its election and social media strategy completely. That can only happen if they High Command wakes up to the reality of social engineering strategies of the BJP and how it could affect the TDP’s chances in the state. 
 
Having said that, we believe that the YSRCP is no competition to TDP as the latter has the advantage of a strong base and cadre, unlike the YSRCP which is mostly driven by money power and candidates do not remain loyal to the party which also lacks an ideology. This is also one of the reasons why we believe the TDP has greater chances of winning the election game in Andhra Pradesh.

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