Politicians graced with unmatched public speaking skills and other qualities have much more weightage than the ones who are scanty at these aspects. Addressing crowds of public as a part of electoral campaigns requires efficient management. This is why hiring of specialists by the political parties to manage their campaigns is on upsurge. Political consultancy is a flourishing business, not just in cities but also in small towns and rural areas.
The dawn of social media and its growing influence on voters has led burgeoning of political consultancy firms from 2005 to more than 50 firms until now.
Saurabh Vyas, a graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay and co-founder of Gurgaon based political consultancy firm “Political Edge” said, after observing Arvind Kejriwal’s success in Delhi assembly elections and Modi’s massive web campaigns, several enthusiastic candidates aspiring a political career approach us to seek advice on social media management.
Political aspirants hire political consultants for speech writing and media management like giving interviews to local dailies and channels, and analysis of news relevant to their constituency to make sure that they strike the right note during their political rallies. These agencies charge anything from INR 1 lakh to Rs 50 Lakh depending on the services.
Many years ago politics was a way simple affair than it is today because of the low literacy levels and absence of social media. Now, elections have become a very serious business involving complex strategies and enormous campaigns costing crores of rupees. This is why candidates are largely adopting scientific methods to manage their campaigns both in rural and urban areas.
Gaurav Singh, another IITian who got into political consultancy, said arrival of 24×7 news channels and mounting recognition of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have altered the way politicians interact with voters. A senior BJP leader from Karnataka who is said he has hired consultants for developing our campaign as they could see a major change in the voters’ behavior and voting pattern.
An examination by Gramener, a data analytics company shows that after 2009 assembly elections as many as 233 young leaders (less than 35 years of age) won the poll battle.
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Sunil Deshpande, founder of Aurangabad-based Shree Political Research Bureau, said many rural candidates develop their own campaign strategy based on inputs they get from the consultants on the voter’s attitudes and the socio-economic condition of their constituency.