New Delhi: If you want to get a Congress ticket from Madhya Pradesh, all you need to have is a sizeable following on Twitter and 15,000 likes on your Facebook page.

In the age of ‘Digital India’, the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) is taking candidates’ individual social media influence a bit too seriously. A notice issued by vice president and secretary (organisation) of MPCC Chandraprabhash Shekhar states, “The choice of candidates for next Assembly election will depend on how active they are on the social media.”

The 5-point requirement starts with a Facebook page, which is a ‘must’ for ticket aspirants. Having a Twitter account is also a ‘must’. Another requirement is to be super active on WhatsApp.

Not only this, MPCC also wants ticket aspirants to have a minimum of 15,000 likes on their Facebook page, at least 5,000 Twitter followers and separate WhatsApp groups at the booth level.

Moreover, the ticket aspirant should retweet every tweet from the official handle of MP Congress as well as share and like Facebook posts. This rule is applicable not only to ticket aspirants but also to all sitting MLA and office bearers of the Madhya Pradesh Congress.

The notice, which many within Congress have started calling ‘dictatorial’, also demands that all MPCC office bearers, sitting MLAs and ticket aspirants submit evidence of their eligibility to the MPCC IT cell and social media department.

Speaking to MyNation, MPCC IT cell head Abhay Tewari said, “The idea was clearly to put focus on social media. A lot of communication can happen only through that medium. That’s why we want our candidates to be active on WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook.”

Is this the Jyotiraditya Scindia effect? Is it a replacement for the traditional door-to-door campaigning that the Congress followed? Only time will tell. But for now, many Congress ticket aspirants in the hinterland of Madhya Pradesh who haven’t even heard of Twitter are visibly upset.