YSR Congress Party is looking at a sweeping victory in Andhra Pradesh, as it is poised to win at least 24 out of 25 parliamentary seats and 151 out of 175 assembly seats.
With 24 seats in the lower house, YSRCP is now the third largest party in the Indian parliament.
While the counting is still underway, the trends as of now has made it quite clear that incumbent Telugu Desam Party will face a crushing defeat in both parliament and assembly.
YSRCP supremo YS Jagan Mohan Reddy swiftly took to Facebook to celebrate the victory, saying, “This is the victory of the people of Andhra Pradesh”.
Social Media Beast
Reddy’s quick statement of victory on social media is no surprise. After all, social media played a major role in his political campaign in the run up to the general elections.
YSRCP’s highly strategised and sophisticated social media campaign was led by none other than political strategist Prashant Kishor.
Kishor was the brains behind Narendra Modi’s highly successful social media campaign in the run up to the 2014 general elections along with Nitish Kumar’s social media campaign in the run up to the 2015 Bihar Assembly elections.
YSRCP’s victory shows that when it comes to social media campaigning, Prashan Kishor can be an intimidating rival and a valuable ally.
Under Kishor’s tutelage, the party had spent a total of Rs. 3.2 crore on sponsoring posts on Google and Facebook.
Its rival, Telugu Desam Party led by Chandrababu Naidu, had in fact spent Rs. 3.9 crore, a tad bit more than YSRCP. However, what gave Reddy’s party an edge was an early start.
YSRCP began a steady political campaign on social media since the month of February. TDP, on the other hand, started sponsoring political posts on Facebook and Google only a week before Andhra Pradesh went to polls.
TDP seemed to have missed out the opportunity for an early outreach, as compared to its victorious rival.