Are social media ‘Trolls’ making opposition strong and BJP weaker?

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Since 2014, BJP was having a savvy, ferocious and sharp suggestion on social media by taking up all the strategies to get lauded. But since few weeks, there are certain cases in social media where trolling is occurring more against them. Amit Shah, BJP President while interacting with the youths of Ahmedabad in townhall said that to use their own brains and ignore what other are saying and added that  “I want you to apply your mind,” Shah said about “anti-BJP propaganda being spread on WhatsApp and Facebook”.

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Certainly not in Gujarat, BJP is getting against strikes through these trolls and  Congress and other opposition parties are pulling up their sleeves to pull down BJP people. Rahul Gandhi, the butt of so much trolling, has added one million followers on Twitter over the past two months. A consequence, some analysts argue, of the Congress’s growing social media presence.


Ajendra Tripathi, one of the social media user says that in his view even persuading the comments on tweets by ministers shows a change, that the normal deluge of fawning praise is now being countered by more sarcasm, more scepticism. Between September 14 and 30, Tripathi analysed over 60,000 tweets and found that, on average, there are 18 negative tweets about Prime Minister Narendra Modi every hour, 11 against finance minister Arun Jaitley, eight against BJP president Amit Shah and foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and six against home minister Rajnath Singh.

Congress social media campaign in Gujarat titled ‘Vikas gando thayo chhe’, loosely translated as development gone mad. Rohan gupta head of cyber cell said using memes and viral videos and humour, a broken-down bus, say, with the ‘development gone mad’ hashtag, for maximum effectiveness.

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The BJP has countered with its own campaign, ‘Hun chun vikas, hun chu Gujarat’. The aim is to focus on the BJP’s claim to providing development for all, the so-called ‘Gujarat model’ that propelled Modi to the prime minister’s chair in 2014. Amit Malviya, the BJP’s combative IT guru, points out that in the past two years, the party has nearly doubled its Facebook following from 7 million to over 13 million; nearly 7 million people follow the party on Twitter. It means any social media campaign orchestrated by the BJP reaches a vast audience. The opposition might enjoy a brief bounce through negativity, Malviya says, “but our positive, fact-based campaign will ultimately prevail.”


For all the dazzle of the Congress social media campaign, the BJP’s difficulties in Gujarat are more prosaic, to do with caste considerations and the Patidar agitation. Rahul gandhi effectively attacked chief minister Vijay Rupani and his government for lack of performance. But it is the dazzle that is appearing to cut the deepest. Worried to send big hitters like Arun Jaitley and Nirmala  Sitharaman into the fray as they were part of a session where BJP’s Gujarat leaders how to use social media to their advantage & Rupani attended the session.

IT cell sources say, they have been told to focus their social media posts on environmental protection, cleanliness and similarly uncontroversial topics. “There is,” one insider said, “less scope to get caught up in a flame war. The opposition is going to try to bring few issues infront of leaders. rising prices or cow-related violence or GST, but we have asked them not to engage.” Amit Shah’s performance in Ahmedabad supplied the template, a sustained belittling of the state of Gujarat before the BJP came to power, and how without the BJP the electorate risked a return to those dark days.

Source : India Today



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