Narendra Modi, one of the most popular politician on social media platforms in India has latched on to Twitter & the power of film celebrities, Indian cricketing legends and spiritual heads, to woo & encourage first-time voters to register for voting rights for upcoming general elections 2014. The elections will be litmus test for Modi to prove his popularity can convert into votes to reach to the magical figure of 272 to form the government at the Centre.
According to Mint- “The first-time voters, estimated from the Census data stacks up to 149.36 million—the Election Commission estimates the total number of voters to be 725 million.”
Modi in his first tweet mentioned “studies point to several ‘eligible’ voters who are yet unregistered. Are you one of them? Now is the time to get registered ASAP ! and followed by this tweet ” I request prominent voices on social media to promote voter registration among youngsters & strengthen our democracy.
Later, Modi in his flurry of tweets mentioned twitter handle of prominent celebrities from Bollywood, like Amitabh Bachchan(6.30million), Shah Rukh Khan(4.98million), Amir Khan(4.66 million), Salman Khan(4.88 million), Hrithik Roshan(4.08million), Deepika Padukone(4.18million), cricketing legend, Sachin Tendular(3.66million), and spiritual head his Holiness Dalai Lama (7.71million) among others and wrote “lets encourage voter registration among 18-24 yr olds. Large number of them are unregistered. EC drive presently underway.”
Modi has 2.34 million followers till now on Twitter. Recentky, Bharatiya Janta Party(BJP), the main opposition party in India anointed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as prime ministerial face for upcoming election.
Interestingly, he in his tweet mentioned his bete-o-noire Prime Minister Manmohan Singh official PMO twitter handle to encourage young voters to participate in due Parliamentary election. Also, Shashi Tharroor (1.90million), Minister of State for Human Resource Development and one the most vocal critic of Modi on social media platforms was mentioned by Modi to woo youths for voter registration. It would be interesting to see whether,Modi’s MT gets RTs by the likes of PMO and Shashi Tharror !
In the recent months, youths & their issues are focal point & recurring theme of all Modi’s political speeches since his elevation as BJP Election Campaign Committee Chief. Recently during Rewari rally largely of ex-servicemen, Modi made an emotive appeal to young audience to get themselves registered for voting rights and also encourage other in family, friends and relatives to do it.
According to recently released report, published on Mint- “Show that the overwhelming demography of India is young. “The population of the country below 35 years of age is 51.8%. Of this 48.2% are women and 51.8% are men, 30.1% reside in urban areas and 69.9% is based in rural India. Significantly, the Census numbers estimate the population in the critical demography category of 18-35 years of age to be 31.3%%. Not only does this demography dominate spending in the rapidly growing consumer economy, it is also likely to be critical in the context of the general election due by May 2014.”
Politics & social media are getting entwined every other day. But , whether twitter RTs, and MTs, can translate into VOTE is the moot question !
Links for voter registration in India only : Election Commission of India (http://eci.nic.in/eci_main1/index.aspx)