Indian Express

Modi most followed on Twitter, Kejriwal biggest gainer

The top 20 club also includes Smriti Irani, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Derek O'Brien, Varun Gandhi and Meenkashi Lekhi, among others as on April 12, 2014. Tweet This
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BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate has now close to 3.7 million followers -- the highest for any Indian politician. (AP) BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate has now close to 3.7 million followers -- the highest for any Indian politician. (AP)

BJP’s Narendra Modi remains the ‘most-followed’ Indian politician on Twitter by a wide margin of over 15 lakh followers, but it’s AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal who has gained the most with about 6.3 lakh new followers in just over last three months.

With Twitter emerging as a major campaign-ground for the first time for Lok Sabha elections, all major parties and leaders are using this platform and other social networks to reach out to the people, especially the young population which is present on these online forums in a big way.

According to latest data compiled by Twitter India, the Indian unit of US-based microblogging giant, BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate has now close to 3.7 million followers — the highest for any Indian politician.

Modi has a lead of more than 1.5 million over second- ranked Shashi Tharoor, a Congress leader with 2.13 million followers.

Kejriwal (1.62 million) comes third, followed by Manmohan Singh (1.17 million) at fourth, BJP’s Sushma Swaraj in the fifth spot (1.03 million) and beauty queen-turned-politician Gul Panag at sixth (0.83 million), Twitter data shows.

Subramaniam Swamy of BJP is at seventh (0.49 million), J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah is ranked eighth (0.48 million), Ajay Maken of Congress at ninth (0.27 million) and Kumar Vishwas of AAP at 10th (0.25 million).

The top 20 club also includes Smriti Irani, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Derek O’Brien, Varun Gandhi and Meenkashi Lekhi, among others, shows the data as on April 12, 2014.

However, when it comes to the rise in number of followers since January 1, 2014 — a period also marked with increased political activities —  Kejriwal, who headed Delhi government for 49 days after his AAP rewrote history in assembly polls last year, has seen over 6.29 lakh additional followers.

Modi comes a close second with 6.28 lakh new followers in the same period, followed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (1.8 lakh), Sushma Swaraj (1.76 lakh), Kumar Vishwas (1.28 lakh) and Shashi Tharoor (1.26 lakh) among the top-20 politicians, shows the data from the micro-blogging site.

When compared in terms of percentage growth in number of followers so far in 2014, BJP’s Arun Jaitley tops the chart (269 per cent), followed by Anurag Thakur from same party (256 per cent), Kumar Vishwas (102 per cent), Kejriwal (63 per cent) and BJP’s Smriti Irani (60 per cent).

“Twitter has enabled people to discover leaders, parties and issues that are most meaningful to them, connect with them and express their opinion, which was not the case in the earlier elections.

“Political leaders are using Twitter to communicate with their constituents, break news, shape discourse and influence opinion,” says Raheel Khursheed, Head – News, Politics & Govt @TwitterIndia.

The data further shows that Gul Panag of AAP leads the charts in terms of Twitter continued…

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