“Gone are the days when the political parties were depending on the ward and district secretaries for manual fool proof cadre enrolment. These days the IT wing of the political parties are running the cadre enrolment drive with the political functionaries often migrating from one party to another, the online database is not only vulnerable but turn out to be a farce if investigated in detail,” multiple political sources in AIADMK, DMK and AMMK admitted to DT Next.
For example, the BJP ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls launched missed call enrolment campaign and claimed it as a big success, but the results for the party proved a dud. In case of DMK, which again had intensified the digital cadre enrolment has become a laughing stock with pranksters getting membership cards for US President Donald Trump and Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.
DMK leaders admitted that there was foul play and have instructed the party IT wing to establish a foolproof mechanism.
In Tamil Nadu, the trend of enrolling cadre through missed calls was started by the BJP and later converted into digital mode, said professor Ramu Manivannan, head, department of politics and public administration, Madras University.
Earlier, a cadre would seeking enrolment, but now things have changed. Almost all the parties are enrolling cadre via online mode which is easy but not 100 per cent reliable. Most of them who join via online are not decisive members. The online also helps to attract fence-sitters and for some, it’s just a click of the button y, the professor explained. We are living in the era of artificial intelligence and this online mode of cadre enrolment will continue. The cadre numbers enrolled through online will be a marketing factor for the political parties, but such numbers will not have a great political impact, Manivannan opined.
Almost all the parties are running short of cadres. The number of cadres attending meetings had gone down and this trend will continue, said Poonga Nagar Selvam of AIADMK MGR Mandram.
He added that tweets and likes will not get converted as votes.