Amongst the hundred odd cows that are tied in this modern cowshed in Danapur on Patna’s outskirts, a dozen young men are regularly tweeting and managing the Twitter and Facebook accounts of former Bihar Chief Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav and his sons.
When Lalu was Bihar CM, he used to keep his 120 plus cows at his official residence, a practice which continued even in the time of Rabri Devi, when she became CM. However, once Lalu Yadav lost the elections along with his official residence, the cows were shifted to a spacious cowshed in Danapur. It’s from this same khatal (cowshed) that a group of individuals are working towards strengthening the online presence of Lalu and his sons.
“The content from Laluji and his sons that you see on Facebook and Twitter is generated from this place. Laluji tells us about his views, which we then share on Twitter and Facebook. Many of the things like slogans, the data related to the 243 Assembly seats, the records related to the online membership of the RJD are generated and kept here,” one of the RJD members who is a part of the team stated.
According to him, the “fragrance” of the cow dung and the repeated mooing of their shed-mates did not distract them. “Most of us have cows at home or come from families where cows and khatals are an integral part of our lives. Hence, what may disturb others, is not a problem for us,” he explained.
The group also keeps a tab on the Twitter accounts of Bihari politicians from both alliance partner Janata Dal United and rival Bharatiya Janata Party and its alliance partners to keep Lalu and his sons updated about what these leaders are doing on social media.
“We keep a close watch on the Twitter accounts of Sushil Modi, Nitish Kumar, Ram Vilas Paswan and if we see a major tweet or a commentary by them on Facebook we inform Tejashwai Yadav so that we too can publish our views on the matter. We also keep a keen eye on what Narendra Modi tweets,” he said.
Lalu has around 1.15 lakh followers on Twitter and almost 4.5 lakh page-likes on Facebook.