With Punjab divided in 6 zones, SAD IT cell sharpens digital outreach

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is intensifying its efforts to connect with voters through social media, showcasing a series of initiatives implemented during its leadership from 2007 to 2017. Last year, the party enlisted the services of Mindshare Analytics, led by Sunil Kanugolu from Chennai, for its election outreach campaign. Simultaneously, the Information Technology wing of the party is collaborating to communicate the party’s agenda for the upcoming elections.

Nashattar Singh, the head of the SAD IT wing, emphasized the party’s focus on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and other digital channels to inform the people of Punjab about the party’s accomplishments and its vision for the forthcoming elections. Singh asserted that the IT wing has the capability to make any message, post, photo, or video go “viral across the state in 30 minutes.”

To ensure effective communication, the state has been divided into six zones, each with its designated in-charge overseeing a cluster of constituencies. WhatsApp groups at the booth level, consisting of around 40 members each, facilitate rapid dissemination of messages, photos, or videos, reaching the booth level within 30 minutes.

Mindshare Analytics, comprising approximately 50 members, operates from Chandigarh and is responsible for designing the poll campaign and graphics. The team was initially involved in the Gal Punjab Di campaign, but it had to be paused due to the ongoing farm agitation, where farm organizations urged political parties to halt public rallies.

Initially, Mindshare Analytics volunteers collaborated with Akali leaders, working closely with the party cadre at the constituency level, collecting feedback, and planning the poll strategy. However, this arrangement concluded by mid-November, with the decision to have local Akali cadre manage the campaign at the constituency level. Since then, Mindshare Analytics volunteers have been operating from Chandigarh.

The current campaign aims to portray party president Sukhbir Singh Badal as a leader capable of propelling Punjab into a higher orbit of development.