Congress ticket aspirants in Madhya Pradesh will be evaluated on their use of social media with the state Congress sending a missive that they should have a Facebook page with 15,000 likes, Twitter account with 5,000 followers and WhatsApp group of booth workers in their neighbourhood.
The directions have been conveyed by the state Congress in a letter which refers to steps being taken by the Congress to improve its social media outreach.
The letter says that aspirants for party tickets in the Assembly polls later this year will be evaluated for their use of social media. It also spells out the criteria for judging the activeness in using social media.
"Having Facebook page and Twitter account is mandatory. Being active on WhatsApp is mandatory. It is mandatory to have 15,000 likes on the Facebook page, 5,000 followers on Twitter and having a WhatsApp group of booth members in the neighbourhood," the letter said.
The letter also said that it is mandatory to retweet the tweets by the state unit's Twitter handle and to like and share the posts on its Facebook page.
Party spokesperson Shobha Oza said that social media activity was not the only criteria for ticket selection but the party wants those contesting the election to use it extensively.
She said social media was used by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the last election to take its "jumlas" to the people and the party could not counter it effectively.
"This election is going to be held when democracy is threatened and media is under pressure by the Central and state governments. It is all the more necessary that you use social media as a powerful instrument to reach to the masses," she said.
"So we are appealing to our workers and leaders to be more active on social media and share the party's ideology and vision through it," she added.
She alleged that the BJP would again use social media to create a "wrong perception" and it was important to counter its "lies".