Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi seems out to prove he is more popular than US President Barack Obama — at least on social networking sites.
Having faced a defeat at the hand of the US president in November 2011 when Modi lost following a last-minute spurt in negative votes in the fifth annual Mashable awards in the category of ‘Must-Follow Politician On Social Media’, the Gujarat CM now wants to get back.
By January, Modi’s cyber-army is scripting an architecture that would ensure that his likes onFacebook and followers on Twitter cross Obama’s score — 3.64 crore ‘likes’ on Facebook and 3.45 crore followers on Twitter.
A fortnight ago, the close-knit IT cell of theBJP had sent special online forms to all Modi fan pages on Facebook asking them to ‘merge’ into the main parent fan page. This would mean all the ‘likes’ on various individual pages run by Modi fans would get converted into ‘likes’ on the Gujarat CM’s FB page.
The BJP team had held meetings with administrators of various Facebook fan pages in Delhi recently and have sought their approval — a move to ensure that the ‘likes’ increase on Modi’s fan page.
Today the official fan page ‘Narendra Modi’ on Facebook has garnered 26.05 lakh ‘likes’. Sponsored Facebook page ‘Narendra Modi for PM’ has 12.45 lakh ‘likes’ with 13,000 ‘likes’ adding every week.
This site also has 4.71 lakh fans talking about ‘Narendra Modi for PM’, much more than the official site. Another site sponsored on Facebook is ‘Namo India’ which too has garnered 2.4 lakh ‘likes’ in a short time.
“We have a team in Hyderabad which has been paid for the job. ‘Narendra Modi for PM’ will merge into the official campaign fan page once Modi’s name is officially declared by the BJP. Besides this, Every MLA in Gujarat and outside the state has been asked to manage their Facebook pages and garner ‘likes’. Some MLAs have been given the target of almost 1 lakh likes on Modi’s parent page,” says a senior BJP functionary.
This experiment will be replicated on Twitter as well. “If you click the lakhs of followers on Modi’s fan page on Twitter you will notice that many of the accounts have not even tweeted once. There are close to 4.13 lakh such accounts on Twitter. These were created by the BJP’s IT cell and some techies who used special software to create these accounts,” says a member of BJP’s IT cell.