New Delhi: With elections round the corner, political parties are disciplining their leaders. While the Congress has told its leaders in Madhya Pradesh to increase their social media presence if they want a party ticket, the BJP has come out with a list of do’s and don’ts for the even the staff of its MPs and MLAs, said a report in The Indian Express on Friday. The party has even held a two-day training programme for the personal staff of all party MPs and MLAs here. (Also read: Fundraising Funds For Rahul’s UK Event Raises Hackles Within Cong)

The 65-page book of guidelines has instructions on organising tours, constituency work, usage of funds for MPs and MLAs, personal development, as well as tips for handling complaints from the public, it said. The daily said in the booklet, the party reminds the personal assistants and secretaries that they “have a very important duty to ensure that the media always gets a favourable image of your office. Your senior would be often too busy to deal with all the nitty-gritty of the daily media calls, requirements etc and focus on the finer details of the media.”

It also tells them how to handle the press, advising them to “Always keep the journalists in good humour and maintain a friendly and welcoming tone”, “Don’t keep them waiting for too long”, “Remember that a PA/PS is not authorised to talk with the media but only coordinate and maintain a good relation with your office.”

The guidebook talks about handling social media as well. It says, “Ensure that you don’t unnecessarily tag people and pages in official posts while posting content from the official/functionaries social media handles.” In the end, it warns the staff, “You should remember that BJP is not a party like any other party. We have a well-defined ideology, a vast cadre base, a specific working style and programme to lead the country to a glorious future. Your actions should reflect that we are a party with a difference.”