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Exclusive: Sam Pitroda on digitalisation in elections and Congress’ strategy in election 2019


In an exclusive interview with NewsMobile, telecom pioneer, entrepreneur and Chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress, Sam Pitroda talked about digitalisation and election 2019 and Congress’s strategy in the elections 2019.

On asking about the role of digital platforms in elections, Pitroda says “Digital platforms are having a huge impact on elections world over, elections are basically fought on digital space.”

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“Digital space allows you to access a large number of people, allows you to target messages, voters, constituencies, workers, allows you to motivate people and spread your news message in a very different way”, he added.

Pitroda also talked about the negative side of the digital space and raised concern over the menace of fake news.

He said, “The dark side has a lot to do with fake news, lies, propaganda, misinformation, mainly because people can hide in digital space, they can take different avatars and a good person will have a bad avatar which would lie, cheat or attack people.”

Talking about the misconception about digital media being cheap, Pitroda said, “Digital media does not come cheap according to what people think. If you do not spend more money on that you don’t get the right kind of presence.”

On Congress’ Strategy

On being asked about Congress’ strategy in the 2019 general election, he told that the basic strategy for the Congress party is to spread our message of the NYAY scheme which has 2 aspects.

He explained that the party wants to address the poor fifty million who would get 72,000 rupees a year, added to this, the scheme also wants to correct the injustice done in the last 5 years to youth on jobs, to farmers on their daam, to women on their security, to small and medium scale industries because of GST, and to people at large due to demonetisation.

On working with Rajiv Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi

Answering the question about working closely with Rajiv and Rahul Gandhi, he said that Both of them come from very different backgrounds and ecosystem.

He also added that aspirations have gone up with time and Congress is at the low in the history of the party hence Rahul Gandhi has a much tougher job.

On Rahul Gandhi’s decision making

Calling Rahul democratic, Pitroda said that he believes in building consensus and wants to use party machinery. He takes everybody’s view which is what a leader is supposed to do.

On alliance with Aam Aadmi Party

Addressing the question on an alliance with AAP, he said alliance talks with AAP and others were based on a lot of misinformation.

On Priyanka Gandhi’s political debut
On asking about Priyanka’s impact in UP, he said that she has worked very hard in the last couple of months, she has spent a lot of time in the state. He added,” She articulates issues very well and connects with people in an exceptional way and she’s augmenting Rahul’s efforts.”


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