The members of legislative assembly and council cutting across parties were given lessons on social network during a special lecture organized at the official residence of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav here on Saturday. Senior officials from Twitter, Google and Facebook were present during the two and a half hour long session attended by Yadav himself.
Raheel Khursheed from the News, Politics and Government wing of Twitter India, Fatima Jamal from Google were among the officials who imparting training about he use of social network in connecting with the masses. The programme was jointly organized by Digital Empowerment Foundation-a non profit organization working towards sustainable Information Communication Technology (ICT) solutions including digital and new media to address digital divide in under-served and unreached regions and Fifth Estate-a social entrepreneurship forum.
“The idea was not inculcate the habit of using social network for connecting to people among the public representatives,” said Sudhir Panwar, of Fifth Estate.
Notably, the Akhilesh Yadav government is of late focusing on using social network for connecting to people. Senior government officials including chief minister Akhilesh Yadav have already had official Twitter accounts after marathon meetings with representative from the micro blogging site Twitter in June this year. The Principal Secretary level officials have been directed to tweet at least twice a month about the government policies.
"The government is seriously looking at the options of an image makeover and making some amends. It has already quashed some populist schemes. The plan of connecting to the citizens of Uttar Pradesh through social networking sites is also one of the measures in the direction,” an official confided.
Pertinently, tech savvy CM Yadav’s love for social media is not newfound. He was all there before he became the chief minister of the largest populated state of the country. Armed with smartphones, Yadav is often seen tweeting on his personal handle besides posting comments on Facebook also. However, soon after he became the CM, he virtually vanished from the social media only to return back with active tweeting during Lok Sabha polls.
Social media played a very vital role in 2014 elections. Almost all political parties and candidates including PM Narendra Modi used social media to reach out to the electorate, particularly youth.