If you caught hold of the latest edition of AIADMK mouthpiece 'Nammadhu Amma', you would have noticed an open call for the formation of a new 'army'.
Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the AIADMK which is facing falling memberships has resorted to creating a 'Twitter army' to make their voices louder than the cacophony of criticism against them.
As per their advertisement, every existing member has been instructed to ensure at least five others (members and persons not politically affiliated) open Twitter accounts.
They have then been asked to take a screenshot of the new accounts, post it on the micro blogging site and tag 10 others. This initiative by the IT wing of the party, is an effort to control the discourse over the party on Twitter.
Currently, only 2000 members of the party are active on Twitter and they are hoping that this campaign will take the number to over 10,000.
"We have a lot of supporters on Facebook and comparatively the numbers are lower on Twitter. But this is the site where a lot of information and knowledge sharing happens," says G Ramachandran who heads the AIADMK's IT wing.
"We want to increase our base here in order to propagate schemes by the government. This will also help counter propaganda against us in a decent manner," he claims.
But how exactly are they going to stop it from becoming an 'army' of trolls?
"We will strictly control the content put out by the members. Once we have the numbers we will have WhatsApp groups where we will instruct them," says Ramachandran.
Recently, Hari Prabhakaran a prominent AIADMK face on Twitter was removed from the party following derogatory remarks on the platform about journalists. "If anyone doesn't toe the party line, we will take the required action," he assures.
This week long campaign comes at a time when the AIADMK's latest membership drive proved to be a damp squib. This came as a rude shock for the party that boasts of having 1.5 crore members. The drive reportedly began at the end of January and the party distributed nine lakh applications for renewing existing membership and adding new members. But of this only 2.5 lakh forms have been filled and submitted. Each form accounts for 25 people. The final deadline is June 30 and they have only 62.5 lakh members so far.
Will this 'Twitter army' now seek to control the impending damage?
"This is not directly connected to the drive but it will definitely help the numbers," says Ramachandran.