Party launches an aggressive social media strategy to stay relevant in Bengal politics.


New Delhi: The Communist Party of India (Marxist), which has otherwise followed the more traditional approach towards political campaigning, has taken a leaf out of their political opponents like the BJP and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) to go young and digital in poll-bound West Bengal.

The CPM has launched an aggressive social media strategy to stay relevant in Bengal politics, which they once ruled for almost 34 years.

According to sources within the CPM in West Bengal, the party has formed a strong social media team with their youth cadre who are given the task to spell out the works of the CPM in Bengal on their social media handles. The party has also roped in almost 50 to 60 people who are mostly young and college going students who would look after their social media works and devise the online campaign strategy of the party.

“The party has understood the need of social media in current times. Most of the young people spend the majority of their time on Facebook and Twitter and it was time that the party tapped into these youth voters and convinced them about the ideologies of Marxism and the work the party can do for them if given another chance to power. It took a lot of convincing of the senior leaders at the beginning to go all out on social media, but then the party has to evolve with the changing times,” a CPM party leader from West Bengal told this correspondent.

The CPM has been seen to be very active on their social media handles on Twitter and Facebook and their activity has increased manifold since the Lockdown was put in place. The party has since then launched multiple online campaigns and some have also been able to trend on social media.

The party is currently running a campaign on social media as #BengalneedsLeft and #Leftisthealternative through which the social media handle of the party is constantly tweeting about the mis- management of the 10 years of the Mamata Banerjee government. The party is also creating graphical representations and videos on social media to put forward how the Left party is good for Bengal.

Apart from this, the CPM has recently launched a new platform and a mobile application called “Left Squad” through which the party is trying to connect with the youths of Bengal. The application provides a one-stop shop for all news related to the Left party; it also posts videos and pictures from time-to-time attacking its Opposition parties.

A senior CPM leader told this correspondent that the party is targeting the youth of the state and that it is trying to shed its image of a party where the powers are concentrated only with the top functionaries.

“Through the social media we are trying to reach out to the youths of Bengal, Youths are very unhappy and disgruntled due to the lack of jobs, violence, and autocratic rule of the present government. We are trying to create an image of the Left parties that it is also a party for the youth and that everyone wishing to associate with the party will be given a platform here. We are launching most of our campaigns with the youths and keeping them at the front. The traditional Left of Bengal is also changing with time and we cannot shy away from the present needs of the hour,” the senior CPM leader said.

Moving away from traditional and the old-school nature of the party, the CPM is also holding digital press conferences which, according to many party leaders, they would never have thought about earlier. The party also hosted some webinars recently with its politburo members and senior leaders for the very first time and party members say that given the Covid-19 situation and the upcoming elections in West Bengal, the CPM would be holding many such webinars and e-rallies in the coming months.