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Communists in Bengal embrace social media

March 19, 2014 09:34 IST

Communists in Bengal embrace social media



The 'virtual' dawn has finally broken for Bengal's communists though they lost ground on state's political turf to the ruling Trinamool Congress.

Having been the butt of criticism on social media for months, the Communist Party of India-Marxist's West Bengal chapter, has hosted a Facebook page and has also opened a Twitter account.

Party leadership claims this move will not only tackle misrepresented facts (read propaganda against it) but also help in presenting correct information to the people.

"In Bengal, we have to fight back Congress, Trinamool and Bharatiya Janata Party. So this specific need necessitated FB for state committee," said Biman Bose, CPI-M state secretary who formally launched the social initiatives at party's state head office in Kolkata, on Tuesday.

CPI-M Bengal's FB page gathered over 9,500 'likes' a few hours after formal launch. While the “Joined Facebook” date on page is March 12, party leadership believes that after formal announcement it will garner stronger support on Facebook which in turn will help it reach out to people in large numbers.

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On Twitter, BJP's state unit has over 11,000 followers, followed by TMC's over 4,700 followers. The CPI (M) has started with a humble 176.

The cyber debut of the comrades has drawn ironical comments from political opponents in the state.

"CPI(M)'s belated entry to social media indicates how non-contemporary its politics is. The party is used to 'talking to',not 'engaging with'," Derek O'Brien, Trinamool leader, tweeted.

"Those (people) who till yesteryears were condemning information technology, who discouraged Bengal from becoming an IT destination, are today succumbing and accepting the technical change," said an official of BJP's state unit.

Despite being a late mover, the party believes that its online initiatives will help it reconnect with its supporters. “A team of 10 to 15 young supporters will take care of our online presence. Our top leaders will be putting forward their opinions,” said a state official of the CPI-M.

The All India Trinamool Congress, now spearing ahead with its national ambitions, has over 13,000 likes on Facebook.

Interestingly, BJP's state page, too, has over 13,000 likes, though relatively it has a very limited political ground presence in West Bengal.

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