A day after the organisational rejig, BSP chief Mayawati on Monday reiterated that her party doesn’t have any official presence on social media.
“I wish to reiterate that BSP doesn’t have an official Twitter handle or a Facebook account. Nor has it approved any website to be managed in the party’s name,” Mayawati said after she was made aware of a website ‘BSPYouth’ being run by one Devashish Jarariya.
Barring a brief attempt to take to social media ahead of the 2017 UP polls, when several videos and posters of Mayawati titled ‘behenji ko aane do’ (Let Behenji come to power)’ appeared on Twitter and Facebook, the BSP chief has mostly kept away from social media.
In August 2017, the former UP chief minister, who is expected to be a key player in the likely anti-BJP coalition ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, disassociated herself from a poster on opposition unity that surfaced on a verified @BspUp2017 Twitter handle.
The poster displayed a big photograph of Mayawati, along with smaller pictures of opposition leaders, including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and RJD leader Lalu Yadav among others.
BSP sources said several opposition leaders were in touch with Mayawati, which could be the reason why she was being cautious to avoid any misunderstanding with other parties. Analysts are also of the view that Mayawati wants to tread carefully as a larger anti-BJP front is in the works.
The reiteration of the no social media policy also comes after Mayawati showed the door to two young national coordinators, Jai Prakash Singh and Vir Singh, ostensibly for commenting on BSP’s role in the likely anti-BJP alliance and for making personal attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.
“Unlike the BJP and Congress and now even the Samajwadi Party, which have an active presence on social media, the BSP hasn’t quite accepted the social media as an electoral tool. Probably, part of it has to do with the fact that Behenji believes in keeping things under control and on social media, things do get out of hand at times,” a former BSP lawmaker explained.
The former BSP lawmaker further said that Mayawati was also wary of fake Twitter handles being floated to tarnish her party’s image.
“You would have noticed how she got the media to see that she left the government house on Mall Avenue in a good condition. This saved her from the embarrassment that SP chief Akhilesh Yadav faced later. She believes in doing politics in the good old way,” the former MLA added.
Jarariya, Maya’s office said, was also seen on news channels as a BSP panellist occasionally, which Mayawati didn’t approve of.
“Other than Sudhindra Bhadoria, the BSP has not authorised anyone to represent the party in news channel debates,” said a press release issued in Mayawati’s name later.
“Anyone deviating from the party’s official line will face action,” Mayawati warned.
The BSP chief also said that 50 percent people in all the party’s committees are youth, but unlike other parties, the BSP doesn’t need any separate wing for youth, students or women.
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