After a year-long political war across elections, Parliament and the streets, the BJP and the Congress were engaged in a twitter battle on New Year’s eve.
The Congress launched a massive campaign on the micro-blogging site with the hashtag #ModiFailures2015 to claim the NDA government failed on all fronts. The BJP hit back with #modigovtrocks , and the pro-government hashtag was trending on Thursday morning.
From Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in Afghanistan to skill development minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy launching e-rickshaws in Varanasi, the BJP loyalists picked up several topics, photos and even news articles to thwart the Congress campaign on Twitter.
BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya joined the war of tweets under #modigovtrocks, highlighting how CCTVs would be installed in 20,000 train coaches for the safety of women.
The Congress’ twitter campaign provided comparative charts and figures to claim how the the Centre had “failed on all fronts”.
In one such tweet, it quoted Modi’s recent remarks on job creation at a Dalit conference, and added that while the BJP had pledged to create 2.5 crore jobs a year, the number of new jobs actually fell by 43,000 between April and June 2015.
It also attacked BJP over the PM’s recent Pakistan visit, which was hailed by observers as a masterstroke.
The Congress asked external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj why Modi went to Pakistan despite nearly 900 ceasefire violations. “Sushma ji! Have ceasefire violations stopped bothering you now?” the party asked.
While the BJP had been a frontrunner on Twitter and social media usage for many years, the Congress too is trying to catch up and expand its digital footprint.
The principal opposition party has set up a dedicated social media team, comprising mostly young professionals, to run a 24X7 campaign.