Lok Sabha election: BJP’s IT warrior who manages 1,114 WhatsApp groups in Cooch Behar


By Ravik Bhattacharya AT A political rally, inside the party office, at home or in the small pharmacy that he runs in Gopalpur village, Dipak Das is always on the edge, his eyes glued to his two cellphones, a battery charger on standby. For the BJP, this 36-year-old Here, I am an admin in 1,114 WhatsApp groups, I manage the party But that He says it In each group, there are a minimum of 30 people and maximum of 250. The numbers change every day as some leave and others are added. But I have no time to waste from 6 in the morning. during the air strikes in Pakistan we worked 24 hours straight, Also read | Demonetisation, GST raised risks for poor; social protection needs private hand to step up During that period, we got the numbers of all the smartphones in every family. We also got numbers during the party Das says he has completed Class 12 but could not afford to pursue higher studies. He joined the BJP in 2014 and was made the block general secretary. This year, the party bought me a cellphone worth Rs 10,000 and a portable charger, According to Das, he was trained in social media by the BJP state IT cell in Kolkata. During the conference, he called us IT Yodhas and gave us a list of dos and don In Cooch Behar, Das heads a team of 40 in Cooch Behar, armed with cellphones and two DSLR cameras taken on rent. He is happy with this profile I need to keep my hands free all the time and watch my cellphone. Once our party puts out a message, we support it, like it, share it and start trending it, Then, there are the covert operations. Das admits fake accounts are used to penetrate TMC groups. I have a genuine account and so have my colleagues. But there are some who are scared to speak about BJP through genuine accounts. There are some whose accounts project them as supporters of Trinamool. They watch what the TMC team is doing and report to us. They also criticise TMC within their groups. TMC does the same thing with us, Also read | After Gita Gopinath raises data concerns, Pronab Sen says, India never charged with lack of transparency They keep a watch, and send us pictures and videos of Opposition leaders and workers caught in scandals. Recently, someone posted a picture of a local Opposition leader in a compromising position. We immediately made it viral, There I share important news, too, and engage in debates on various issues. This attracts people. Then I post a few party messages, The flip side, however, is that he has The key, he says, is not to engage openly in party campaigns, carrying flags. We take the help of teachers and professors. Personally, I even talk to some senior Left members in my area, who have now shunned politics, to learn more about national issues, On Thursday, Das will be more busy than usual. Our job is to get the pictures and videos. We will send them to party higher-ups, the election commission, police and people like you in the media. Our work will continue. \u201d

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