Google has partnered with HT Media and five other organisations to put up a Lok Sabha 2009 site that offers information to voters on election news, MP profiles, candidate quotes and polling booth locations. It also offers a mapping aide for searching for information according to constituencies and has a very useful tool to check for your name in voter rolls in Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Nagpur and Pune…but should voters personal information be made this easily accessible? Among Googles partners: Association for Democratic Reforms, Indicus Analytics,
Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, Liberty Institute and PRS Legislative Research.
It has also launched a community on Orkut called Voice of Youth where it conducts lots of polls and where members discuss and debate amongst themselves. The community has 747 members who are also invited to suggest polls. [via AlooTechie] The community hopes to explore the opinion of youth on elections, issues the country is facing and politicians. Considering that politics is a subject that sparks tension in the country, Orkut has set up strict controls and rules and wants to avoid a situation where, as it frankly admits, “When the topic is very interesting, sometimes we have seen how in some of the communities people get carried away and the community becomes a mess soon.”
Election related videos can also be viewed on Youtube at aggregator Istream.in‘s channel. They are recorded from various TV news broadcasts. YouTube doesn’t have any special site for the Indian elections, and Google’s mashup doesn’t feature any videos.
Rediff Election Special
Rediff has also launched a website dedicated to the upcoming elections called India Votes 2009 where it is inviting Internet users to upload photographs and videos on the election. It also plans to engage collegians to report on elections in their neighbourhoods.
BahenMayawati.com displays her updated political ambitions and party information but the rest of the site – actions, speeches and photo gallery are not available yet. A website on Rahul Gandhi replete with punctuation errors, tabs that do not work and poor quality photos is the only one we found of the young politico. It does not appear to be the official website as it has an American domain name and actually refers to him as being “Mentally ambitious”! Contentsutra has picked out Shashi Tharoor’s, Meera Sanyal’s and Mallika Sarabhai’s sites.
BJP Supporters: A site called FriendsofBJP.org or 4bjp.org has been set up by a group of professionals and lawyers and seems to be drawing a lot of comments. MyTodaySMS CEO Rajesh Jain is a contributor. MyToday is also powering BJP’s SMS service, and the group recently crossed 41,000 SMS subscribers.