He will use this medium to express his views and remain connected with masses.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi who has been grabbing headlines after his return from two month sabbatical has made his debut on social networking site twitter. This is his first official social media entry. The handle @OfficeofRG went live on Wednesday evening and as of Thursday afternoon it had nearly 20,000 followers. The account put out its first tweet to say that Rahul Gandhi will be embarking on a padyatra in Telangana on May 12 travelling a distance of 15km in Adilabad district covering five villages starting from Wadial village. Mr. Gandhi’s account is verified and mentions that it “is the official account of the Office of Rahul Gandhi”. The bio also mentions that he is a Member of Parliament and vice president, Indian National Congress. Another post indicated that the account will basically post updates on Mr Gandhi’s ‘official programmes and upcoming visits.’
There were mixed reactions pertaining to his entry on twitter. AV spoke to National Spokesperson-Congress, Priyanka Chaturvedi- @priyankac19 who is very active on twitter and always voices her opinion for party and its leaders she said “It’s a step in the right direction which enables citizens to know about the issues raised by Rahul, his visits and activities. It will also be a medium for people to raise their concerns to his office directly.”
Gaurav Pandhi- @GauravPandhi Nehruvian Congressman said, “It’s a good step at the appropriate time. While the activities in and around have increased and the dilemma around the Modi Sarkar is on decline, it is important to take our message directly to the desk/ phones of people. I am confident that this enhancement of communication will cultivate positive results.”
Sumit Kashyap Jha – @sumitkashyapjha Congress supporter on social media said, “His office is opening up to media, this handle is for press releases and updates. It signifies that his office is more accessible and communicative now.”
Rahul had always stayed away from social media and had adopted the traditional methods to reach out voters while campaigning for the 2014 Lok Sabha election. On the other hand, Narendra Modi had extensively used social media which enabled him to garner massive popularity and win the election. Modi has over 12 million followers and Aam Aadmi party chief Arvind Kejriwal has over 4.3 million.
Paresh Joshi – @Bhagva_Dhvaj Co-Convener, BJP Communication Cell said, “Good that Rahul is on Twitter… but isn’t it too late for image building? I think it’s hard for him to gain big from Twitter. He should have been there much before the 2014 general elections to influence urban voters. Cream on twitter has already gone to Modi and Kejriwal.”
Ramesh Solanki – @OfficialRajput Shiv Sena IT cell said, “I am very excited with Rahul Gandhi’s official entry on twitter. He will provide the much needed laughter and entertainment. With Rahul’s entry we will see loads of kids joining twitter too.”
The Congress party has suffered a series of state election setbacks ever since it was routed out of power in May 2014. Almost a year later, Mr Gandhi’s office appears to have realised the importance of social media platforms. Rahul will use this medium to connect with voters and youth who are active on social networking sites.
Anurag [email protected] said, “A very brave but late attempt by RG to finally enter the pool of social media. On the brighter side it will give an opportunity to express his views and remain connected with the masses a point which has always missed his resume. However risk associated is very high. RG has always been on the radar of twitter with millions of jokes and his twitter handle may just end up as a bullying page for twitter janta an opportunity which will surely be exploited by the opposition. And the upswings of twitter mandates is definitely going to give him hard time.”
“Only time will tell the real damage done by “office of RG”.
Anurag @bhootnath BJP IT Cell said, “Rahul Gandhi must understand that twitter is very different from his stage managed PR stunts. This is a no holds barred arena and matches are decided by popular opinion. Anyway, I doubt he will ever go beyond tweeting snippets of press briefing but I am sure the humour quotient of twitter will go up since he is here.”
Abhay Tiwari, an author, an educationist, a motivational speaker said, “Rahul Gandhi and Congress party have realized that one of the primary reasons we lost last Parliamentary election was the inactivity of Congress. The party’s senior leaders in the social media know that 5 per cent to 8 votes are affected by the conversations and sustained discussions with the people on the social media.
“This vote share will play very important role in the coming elections too and the percentage is only going to rise further. Rahulji’s debut on twitter is very welcome step indeed, our suggestion would be that he overlooks the content posted and keeps a check on the activity here, but as he himself told the young workers of the party earlier that his personal account would be the one that he himself and no one else would operate. So we are confident that he will be highly successful in galvanizing the young voters and hardworking volunteers of the party and keep them inspired” he added.
“It’s too late as the guy is trying to revive himself and his party’s sagging image desperately. In my opinion it’s a futile attempt. He is yet to learn many soft skills. Anyway, Twitter is a harsh world everyone speaks his mind there are trolls well-wishers and hired campaigners .His survival on Twitter depends upon his ability to deal with issues more maturely and objectively” said Ravi Srivastava, AAP state executive committee member.
Naiyar Imam, a Geo-scientist said, “After returning from recent vacation, Rahul Gandhi has actively raised the burning issues including Land Acquisition bill, Net neutrality, suicide of farmers and their damages and reimbursement, increasing costliness, women safety issues etc which is not well covered and documented by both electronic and print media i.e paid media which is an excellent example of yellow journalism. The Congress feels that the absence of Rahul from the social media was not helping his cause so finally he is on social networking site ‘twitter’.