Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections have just concluded recently, and all the attention has shifted to Gujarat, the next poll bound state which would vote in two phases on December 1 and 5. The Gujarat Assembly election is touted to be a 3-way battle between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Indian National Congress (INC) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the stalwarts from BJP and AAP respectively, had been frequenting the poll bound state of Gujarat whereas Rahul Gandhi had given the state a miss as he is busy with his “Bharat Jodo” campaign.
In the buildup to the elections, political parties have been focusing more and more on social media platforms and want to create a good image, perception among the social media users as well as influencers which was initially pioneered by Narendra Modi in his ascent to the BJP PM candidature in 2014 and thereafter. Other political parties, though lagged behind the BJP initially, have realized the importance of social media which saw an increase in spending on advertisements in online forms.
Given the deep penetration of internet connectivity and smartphones, online forms of election campaign and campaign advertisements have become more mainstream over the years. Let’s see how much political parties have spent on the social media platforms in the run up to the Gujarat elections thus far.
This is a list of top spenders in Facebook. Government of Punjab is mentioned as AAP as the party had recently formed the Government in Punjab.
It looks like AAP had become the top spender in Facebook and the party had been working overtime to make a considerable impact in the Gujarat elections. The party chief Arvind Kejriwal had been conducting many rallies and road shows in Gujarat.
Though Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP had spent considerably more in Facebook, the party had spent a meagre Rs.59,250 compared to more than 50 lakhs each by Indian National Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party. This is only publicly available data provided by Facebook and Google. We could not ascertain how much the parties spend on campaigns on other offline sources.