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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Social media played key role in Lok Sabha polls: Rajnath Singh

PTI  New Delhi, July 11, 2014
First Published: 20:41 IST(11/7/2014) | Last Updated: 20:47 IST(11/7/2014)

Social media has played a significant role in recent Lok Sabha elections and it will continue to do so in future, home minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday.

"There was an important role of social media in 2014 elections. It will continue to do so in future too. We have to accept this fact," he said addressing a seminar on media's role in 2014 general elections in Delhi.

Singh said social media did not have a significant role five years ago but its role has increased manifold now.

"Through social media, the government is outlining its plan, its vision," he said.

During Lok Sabha elections, BJP had used social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook extensively to propagate its message, agenda and opinion to reach out a wide section of people, particularly the younger generation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been very regular on Twitter for quite some time.

After assuming power, the NDA government has been using Twitter, Facebook and blogs to outline its plans, vision and various messages.

Most of the ministers and ministries keep sending messages through the social media platforms. Home minister Rajnath Singh himself uses two Twitter handles and a Facebook account to outline his vision and ministry's policies regularly.

Singh said the role of the media in a democracy is very significant and no individual or political party can use media for its advantage. "This is my observation," he said.

Terming the 2014 general election as "watershed moment" for India, Singh said normally ruling party or its leader is always in focus in any election.

But for the first time in India, the leader of the opposition was in focus (in recent Lok Sabha polls), he said.

Singh said he was always appreciates the role of the media in a democracy and the media knows how to correct itself through self-regulation, if there is any requirement.

He said there are many people in the society who would appreciate the media when they are praised but criticise immediately when they are attacked. "I cannot do that," he said.


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