Madhya Pradesh: In a shocking political development, The Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee has made it mandatory for candidates to have a social media influence.
In the September 2 letter accessed by media, the MPCC stated that an aspiring candidate must have 15,000 likes on his/her Facebook fan page and 5,000 followers on Twitter.
The 'be-active-on-social-media' directive also applies to Congress office bearers in Madhya Pradesh as well as legislators belonging to the party.
But, what defines active on social media? The Congress has helpfully listed down factors it believes qualifies a person as "active on social media".
The first qualification- and the most obvious one - is that the person must have their own Twitter account and Facebook page. The person must also be part of his/her constituency and booth level WhatsApp groups.
The second qualification to be called active on social media is the person must have at least 5,000 followers on Twitter and at least 15,000 likes on their Facebook page.
But that's not all. To truly be "active" on social media, Congress officer bearers, legislators, and ticket aspirants must also retweet and like every tweet posted by the Madhya Pradesh Congress handle. Similarly, their Facebook pages must share and like every post put up by the Madhya Pradesh Congress Facebook page.
Besides, they are required to submit details of their social media performance to the party by September 15.
It is only if these conditions are fulfilled that the Congress will consider a person active on social media.
The party's office bearers and legislators, as well as those hoping to get tickets in the upcoming Madhya Pradesh assembly election, have been asked to submit details about their social media presence to the party's I-T cell by the middle of this month.
According to political observers, the latest social media diktat is an attempt to match the ruling BJP's outreach on social media. The BJP's IT cell boasts of having 65,000 'cyber warriors' tasked with running the party's online campaign.
The Congress claims of having around 4,000 cyber warriors who are called 'Rajiv ke Sipahi'.