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Last Updated : Dec 10, 2017 02:32 PM IST | Source:

Rahul Gandhi vs Narendra Modi: Who reigns supreme in the Twitter war?

With the political spat between the parties open to retweets, data shows that Rahul Gandhi has suddenly gained more popularity than PM Narendra Modi on the forum.

There are no two-ways to how Congress President-in-waiting Rahul Gandhi has managed to change the perception about him. As much as his public speeches and a tempered outreach are, social media has been crucial to his new avatar, dubbed Rahul Gandhi 2.0.

With the political spat between political parties open to retweets and interpretation, data shows that the Gandhi scion has in the recent times gained more popularity than Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter.

Rahul Gandhi joined Twitter in 2015 and tweets by the handle @OfficeOfRG whereas Modi joined in 2009 and uses the Twitter handle @narendramodi. Modi, who is the third-most followed leader on Twitter according to a Burson-Marsteller Study, has 37.7 million followers. Rahul Gandhi, on the other hand, has 4.82 million followers but has been gaining popularity at a fast pace in a short span of time.

Rahul Gandhi has also been actively participating in rallies and addressing masses in the run-up to the ongoing Himachal  Pradesh and Gujarat Assembly elections. Not to forget, the Congress wants to be seen as a force to reckon with in the next Lok Sabha elections, and Rahul Gandhi is being seen as the person who can do it.

In a recent spat between Modi and Congress, where Congress Member Mani Shankar Aiyar called Modi a "neech aadmi", Rahul Gandhi appeared to be taking a moral high ground, refraining from mud-slinging.

This revamped version of the political leader presents an image of a humble person willing to acknowledge and rectify his wrongs. Recently, he admitted to a math goof up in a tweet. The tweet, which he deleted, compared the inflation of products to the 2014 prices. In the table, one column showed the percentage of increase in rates over three years. In that column, all the percentages were inflated by 100 points in the column. 

Taking advantage of the fallacies of the tweet, the ruling party and Congress' nemesis, BJP and its leaders took to Twitter to tear apart Rahul Gandhi. He later took the Twitter-mongering in his stride and said that he is "human".

He also appears to be people's man attempting to garner masses with tweets in regional languages. With Gujarat elections going on, he is taking the effort to connect with people by posting tweets in Gujarati.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor  in an interview with Moneycontrol earlier said, “I think more interesting is the way in which his (Gandhi) own dynamism, his own running around- from Berkeley to Gujarat- has actually captured imaginations, and raised a large number of very positive reactions from the public at large.”

According to an analytical tool, Twitonomy, Rahul Gandhi has seen a rise in retweets and Modi is seeing a consistent rise, like always.

namo retweet

(Source: Twitonomy)

officeofrg retweet

(Source: Twitonomy)

When checked to see how many fake followers follow the politicians, analytical tool Twitter Audit pointed that only 32 percent of Modi's followers are genuine.

namo fake followers

(Source: Twitter Audit;  figures subject to change)

On the other hand, Gandhi's has 34 percent genuine followers.

officeofrg follow

(Source: Twitter Audit; figures subject to change)

Gandhi seems to be using the forum to personally get in touch with his followers — a move which is now being followed by most political leaders. According to Twitonomy, he now tweets at least 4 times in a day (3.63 times to be exact) — which was not the case earlier.

Modi has been using social media forums to directly be in touch with his followers since 2009. Many believe that his active social media presence has helped in strengthening his party's foundation. Modi tweets at least 12 times (11.75 times to be exact) in a day. One of the reasons for Gandhi's popularity could be that his tweets may seem funny, witty or entertaining to tweeters. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the other hand, tweets in a formal tone -- an important discretion of the office he holds.
First Published on Nov 12, 2017 04:33 pm
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