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BJP’s membership drive in Jharkhand runs out of steam

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The ruling BJP’s much-hyped campaign to add hundreds of thousands of new members in Jharkhand seems to have run out of steam.

The Maha Sampark Abhiyaan in the state ended on July 31, during which 45 lakh potential members gave the Bharatiya Janata Party a missed call.

BJP activists were to go physically to the homes of such people and help them become active members.

Party insiders say most party workers failed to do that. According to informed sources in the party, the special campaign failed to add even 50 percent of the total target.

Photo credit: PTI
Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das/PTI Photo

Jharkhand BJP vice president Deepak Prakash said: “The Maha Sampark Abhiyan will continue. There was a special drive in July. We will achieve our target.

“There were many factors, including monsoon, because of which the party could not achieve the desired result,” he said.

But party insiders give a different account of what they say is the reality.

They said there were several reasons why BJP workers did not show the enthusiasm expected of them in the membership drive.

One common refrain is that although the BJP leads its first government with a legislative majority in the state, it has failed to recognize the contribution of workers and give them their due.

Moreover, the delay in constituting the boards and corporations has created resentment among party workers.

Many are also aggrieved that neither officials nor the government machinery listens to their problems.

Chief Minister Raghubar Das’ fiat that BJP workers should not be lobbying for party posts or seek transfers or postings of officials has not gone down well with the activists.

A senior party worker said on the condition of anonymity that there were no solid achievements of the BJP government over the past six months — in the areas of law and order, health, employment and more.

“The chief minister himself has apologised to the people for failing to improve the power scenario in the state,” the source added.

The lack of enthusiasm vis-a-vis Maha-Sampark Abhiyaan  is giving headaches to party leaders in the state as BJP president Amit Shah is very serious about it – and wants it to succeed at all costs.

He had told the state leadership in Kolkata last month to give “100 percent” to the drive.

 

(IANS)

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Facebook Asks Political Ad Buyers In UK To Reveal Their Identity

While the vast majority of ads on Facebook are run by legitimate organizations, we know that there are bad actors that try to misuse our platform,” Facebook said in a statement.

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A protester wearing a mask with the face of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is flanked by two fellow activists wearing angry face emoji masks, during a protest against Facebook policies, in London, Britain (From archives) VOA

Facebook says that anyone who takes out a British political ad on the social media platform will now be forced to reveal their identity, in a bid to increase transparency and curb misinformation.

The company said Tuesday that it will also require disclaimers for any British political advertisements. All the data on the ad buyers will be archived for seven years in a publicly accessible database.

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Facebook is already applying a similar system in the United States, which is holding midterm elections this year.

British lawmakers have called for greater oversight of social media companies and election campaigns to protect democracy in the digital age.

A House of Commons report this year said democracy is facing a crisis because data analysis and social media allow campaigns to target voters with messages of hate without their consent.

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“While the vast majority of ads on Facebook are run by legitimate organizations, we know that there are bad actors that try to misuse our platform,” Facebook said in a statement. “By having people verify who they are, we believe it will help prevent abuse.”

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Facebook said it’s up against “smart and well-funded adversaries who change their tactics as we spot abuse,” but it believes that increased transparency is good for democracy and the electoral process. (VOA)