They claim that the app has proved to be a hit among the people, with its popularity on the rise each passing day.

Download mobile apps to know all about us is what candidates seem to tell voters in KeralaFacebook
news Kerala Polls 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 09:30

Like any other election season, candidates have tried every possible trick in the book to connect with the masses ahead of the assembly elections on May 16.

Every candidate’s mantra has been to reach out to the maximum number of people. Irrespective of their party affiliations or whether young or old, first-timers or veterans almost all candidates now seem to have adapted to the changing times by campaigning on social media with mobile applications being the latest addition to their campaign plan.

The Communist Party of India (CPI) recently launched mobile applications for each of their candidates to connect with their voters in their respective constituencies. They claim that the app has proved to be a hit among the people, with its popularity on the rise each passing day.

How much is enough, and what does the numbers mean?

Hari Sasi –the app developer for CPI candidates- says that the number of downloads for each app varies, depending on the popularity of the candidate. While more than five hundred downloads were registered in the Kanjangad constituency, Mannarkad registered as low as 100 downloads. Hari estimates the total number of downloads across all constituencies to be close to five thousand on Google play store.

“We cannot however go by just that number. At party meetings and village-gatherings, the app gets shared via Bluetooth to ensure everyone present there has it,” he adds.

Hari however seemed unsure of the fate of the numerous mobile applications that he developed for CPI as part of their electoral campaigning: “I am yet to take a call on how the app would be put to use in the post-election scenario.”

A Malayali tech-team from a startup in Bengaluru too has developed a one-stop mobile application ahead of the polls. The app named ‘Election Now’ was made available towards the end of March this year and has since then registered close to thirty five thousand downloads on Google play store.

P T Suhail -project manager of the said app- along with his team of eight decided to develop an application that would provide all information regarding elections. This while constantly having to fact-check on Google and engaging in heated political debates themselves!

The database includes information right from the 1957 elections to the present assembly polls, with bio-data of all the 7500 candidates who have contested elections in the history of Kerala till date now literally made available at your finger-tips.

Besides this, the quiz feature provides a platform to brush up people’s knowledge about politics. They can even check if their names appear in the voter’s list. News from other sources has also been integrated into the app.

Suhail opines that although mobile apps of political parties do well in the initial days owing to party supporters downloading them in large numbers, there is no surge in the usage per se, after the initial novelty wades off.

“We do not want our app to serve a short-term target. The very purpose of including history, quiz and live news is to sustain the app by giving users something more than what other apps provide them. We want to prevent users from uninstalling the app post elections. Hence discussions are now on to team up with elected representatives to continue to provide valuable information to the users,” he confides.

The app -made available in both English and Malayalam- would provide live election results as well.

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