Reconciled to the possibility of assembly elections in Bihar being held amid restrictions in place because of the COVID 19 pandemic, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United) has asked its rank and file to ramp up its social media presence with a special focus on first-time voters.
Creating WhatsApp groups and Facebook pages, which could serve as an interface between the party and the masses, figured among the commandments received by JD(U) foot soldiers from Mr Kumar during the six-day "virtual sammelan" that ended on Friday.
Seated at his official residence here and flanked by trusted aides, Mr Kumar brainstormed with the party's grassroots workers spread across all 38 districts of Bihar during the six-day-long exercise.
In his introductory remarks on Friday, Sanjay Kumar Jha, who is a national general secretary of the party besides a member of the state cabinet, said, "more than 70 per cent of men and women, aged between 18 and 24 years, are known to be very active on WhatsApp and Facebook".
"This online presence must be tapped into. These youngsters are most likely not aware of the conditions that prevailed in Bihar when Nitish Kumar took over.
"A few decades ago, when we were students ourselves, the Magadh region always remained in news because of massacres which have become a thing of the past," he said.
Compare that with the situation today when students from Jehanabad and Aurangabad districts are figuring among toppers in examinations conducted by the state secondary education board, Mr Jha said.
"Lives of girls have been transformed because of schemes like free bicycles and uniforms. The youngsters would be able to appreciate it better in the light of how bad things were earlier," he added.
The contrast between "good governance" brought in by Mr Kumar and the "jungle raj" that preceded it has been a recurring theme of the pep talks that the chief minister and his cohorts delivered to the party foot soldiers since Sunday last.
Party posters with evocative captions like "bhay banaam bharosa" (terror versus trust) and Kumar''s own repeated assertion - "those who have attained voting age only recently must have been very young in 2005 and they need to be told what we had inherited"- give ample indication that the ruling party intends to harp on the failures of the once-mighty RJD.
Besides, the party will highlight the achievements that mark the period since it has been in power.