2019 Election News India: Rahul Gandhi Banks On Big Data’s Analysis To Counter PM Modi
2019 Election News India, In February this year, Congress President Rahul Gandhi was shown a startling statistic if the Congress party had just focused on effectively managing polling booths across the country, its vote share would have increased by 4 %. The 44 seats it won in 2014 would have been at least 90. The party had to move with the times, Gandhi was told, and use big data to identify problem areas. Numbers don’t lie and the writing was on the wall the Congress had become a top-heavy party with weak booth-level management.
Gandhi then put together a team of data analysts, headed by Political Economist Praveen Chakravarty, to crunch the numbers and devise a way forward. The team, which became the All India Congress Committee’s (AICC) Data Analytics Department, came up with ‘Project Shakti’ – an internal digital platform that would use big data with an aim to link each and every Congress worker across India with Rahul Gandhi, the man at the top. For the Congress, ‘Shakti’ has become a database, a communication tool, a feedback mechanism, an appraisal platform, a polling platform all rolled into one. The AICC can directly communicate with workers in a particular booth in a particular district or poll the workers of a certain state on a decision that the PCC wants to take.
In April, ‘Shakti’ began as a pilot project in Rajasthan, which goes to polls at the end of this year. AICC General Secretary in-charge for Rajasthan Avinash Pande, “We have concluded Project Shakti enrollment in Rajasthan with great success. In Rajasthan alone, over 5.5 lakh workers have been enrolled on to the platform.”
After the “success” in Rajasthan, ‘Shakti’ was rolled out in nine other states in addition to Rajasthan. According to the party, over 25 lakh workers are now on the platform. Members were asked to send their voter ID numbers to a particular phone number via SMS. After verification of their voter ID number, the Congress officially sent them a message from Rahul Gandhi, welcoming them to the party and asking them to accept a role in the Congress party in a particular district.
However Election News India, Congress leaders said this is a much-needed start. “We were ahead on the issues, Rahul Gandhi was gaining popularity, there was anti-incumbency and yet, we lost in Gujarat. This is simply because Amit Shah is a master when it comes to handling booth-level management. In Gujarat, he had ‘page pramukhs’. In Rajasthan, he is introducing ‘half-page pramukhs’! We are doing well in the poll-bound states but we have to up our game if we need to seal the deal.”
According to Chakravarty, ‘Shakti’ is far from finished. “My brief is to ensure that we use big data to ready our ground force ahead of the 2019 Elections News India. To win an election, you need to know who your workers are, which workers are active and what the issues that move them are. I believe ‘Shakti’ will help the party on all those counts,” he said.
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