Many UP candidates lag behind Modi on social media presence

New Delhi: Many candidates in the fray in the final phase of Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh including the likes of Mulayam Singh Yadav and three sitting MPs have no social media presence -a sharp contrast to their fellow contender Narendra Modi, who uses the platform in a big way.

Leave alone social media, 11 of the 18 candidates contesting in Azamgarh do not even have an email account. They include Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam, Arvind (Congress), Kiran (Bhartiya Shakti Chetna Party), Prakash Chandra (Sanatan Sanskriti Raksha Dal), Rajdhari Rajbhar (Moolniwasi Samaj Party).

The Election Commission had issued directions for providing details of social media accounts by candidates while filing their nominations.

In Ghosi, sitting BSP MP Dara Singh Chauhan has not mentioned any social media presence besides not having an email account. So has not Mukhtar Ansari of Quami Ekta Dal.

Sitting MP from Robertganj Pakaudilal Kol of SP has no social media accounts and does not also have an email account. Same is the case of Chandauli sitting MP Ramkishun Yadav of SP.

Most of the other candidates in the fray from the state have only mentioned about their email IDs and not their social media accounts. Among them are former Congress MP Jagadambika Pal, now fighting from Domariyaganj on a BJP ticket; sitting Gorakhpur MP of Yogi Adityanath; sitting Congress MP from Maharajganj Harsh Vardhan.

Modi is fighting from Varanasi, which goes to polls on May 12 along with 17 other seats in Uttar Pradesh. Polling will be held in a total of 41 seats in the ninth and final phase.

Modi has been using the Internet technology to cast his net far and wide among voters, mostly those in urban and semi-urban areas. Apart from holding hundreds of public meetings for voter mobilisation, he has also used 3D rallies to communicate his message to the electors.

Modi has 3.93 million followers on Twitter and almost 5,000 tweets. His Facebook page is liked by 14 million people. Besides these, he also has a blog.

During these elections, political parties, leaders and candidates have been utilising the social media to reach out to their voters. Many candidates also have used Facebook and Twitter for breaking news.

A recent study said that there are 160 high impact constituencies, including 14 in Uttar Pradesh, out of the total of 543 constituencies, which are likely be influenced by social media during this general election.

According to the study, high impact constituencies are those where the number of Facebook users is more than the margin of victory of the winner in the last Lok Sabha election, or where Facebook users account for over 10 per cent of total voters in a constituency.

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Free Press Journal