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'Pappu' to popular: Rahul Gandhi’s clean up act on social media

A look at what propelled the Congress president Rahul Gandhi to the unprecedented popularity on social media

February 07, 2019 / 02:11 PM IST

Jagyaseni Biswas

Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s days of being sidelined in the party are seemingly over. In the run up to the 2019 general elections, Gandhi has been constantly taking jibes at the Opposition and interacting with the youth. He is becoming more active on social media, the man has done all it may take to dethrone incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

After the recent Budget announcement, Gandhi's tweet: "Five years of your incompetence and arrogance has destroyed the lives of our farmers. Giving them Rs 17 a day is an insult to everything they stand and work for," was retweeted over 12,000 times, despite his followers being much less than that of the PM’s.

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The past year and especially the last few months have seen his popularity on social media soar to an unforeseen height. Gandhi's follower tally stands at 8.44 million on Twitter now and has posted some 4000-odd tweets. Let’s take a look at what may have aided Gandhi in achieving this.

— A politician close to Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told Economic Times: “Rahul Gandhi’s tweets poking fun at Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have generated a great deal of goodwill and support for him.”

Also Read: With ‘Apni Baat Rahul ke Saath’, Congress looks to counter PM Modi’s Mann ki Baat

Turns out, Gandhi’s posts have been so popular and effective that he gained social media mileage by poking fun at the top brass of the saffron party.

In fact, Rahul’s make-over has been working out so well so far that it has given the ruling party some jitters apart from saving internet’s ‘Pappu’ from the jeers that tarnished his image last time around.

The new-found king of sarcasm’s tweets too have garnered him the whopping 8.41 million followers.

— One more reason that could have propelled Gandhi's’s popularity could be that the social media platforms are biased against Modi. Even Delhi BJP spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga accused Twitter of being anti-BJP and right wing ideologies. Speaking to IANS, a Congress leader had explained that Rahul Gandhi's posts get higher traction because mainstream media takes a "pro-Modi" stance and has otherwise had an inherent bias against him.

— Pro-Congress netizens have maintained that the reason behind the soaring numbers is likely the right choice of issues. Gandhi almost only tweets about politics, unlike the PM who uses it for other purposes too, and talks about issues like unemployment and lacunae in other parties – just what voters care for.

Jagyaseni Biswas
first published: Feb 7, 2019 02:01 pm

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