Comedian-turned-politician and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member of Parliament (MP) from Sangrur Bhagwant Mann, who has reportedly become the most popular Punjabi politician on the social media, said here on Sunday that "politics is a serious business and people give their love only to those who raise their issues seriously".
Having a monthly growth of 1.11 lakh fans since he became the MP, Mann has a total of 7.36 lakh followers on his Facebook page and he has been the most liked politician during the last two months as he left Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal far behind as the latter's account on Facebook has only 5.17 lakh followers. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, with 3.17 lakh followers is next in the line, followed by Captain Amarinder Singh with 1.76 lakh followers and Bikram Singh Majithia has only 73,453 fans.
In popularity on the social media, Mann has also defeated Manpreet Badal, with whom he started the political career in People's Party of Punjab as the latter has only 65,000 fans on Facebook. Other young politicians of the state such as Ravneet Bittu, Vijay Inder Singla and Manish Tewari are also below the one-lakh mark.
Bhagwant Mann was equally famous on YouTube also and his most popular upload on YouTube is his poem in which he sarcastically has criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his pre-poll promises of bringing 'achche din' (betters days). This upload got 4.81 lakh hits in only 38 days. 6,459 people liked the upload. Bhagwant Mann has uploaded almost all his speeches in Parliament and all the uploads have got more than 40,000 hits, on the Youtube.
Bhagwant Mann also has more than 12,500 followers on Twitter, but he is far behind than former union minister Manish Tewari, who has 78,600 followers on the Twitter. But Mann is ahead of other leaders such as Captain Amarinder Singh (4,123), Harsimrat Kaur (2,067) and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal (1,329) and Manpreet Badal (5,697)
Talking to Hindustan Times, Bhagwant Mann, who is on a thanksgiving tour here, said, "I am happy that the people across the country are giving me their love and support. In Punjab, educated youths are looking for a change in the political system, even the NRIs of the state are supporting me on the social media."
"My interview with BBC also got more than 64,000 hits in one month on YouTube, and my another upload in which I raised the issue of ETT teachers in Parliament got 70,000 hits," he added.
On the authenticity of fans on social networking websites, Mann said, "My followers are genuine and anybody can verify the fact. There are some politicians in the state who purchase fake likes on Facebook, but now the technology is advanced and anybody can check their authenticity."
Mann has also managed to create his fans outside the country as out of a total of 7.16 lakh followers on Facebook, about 22% fans are out of India, including 27,273 in Canada and 21,238 in Australia. With a view to increase his popularity, he has also created a channel on the YouTube, that enables his followers to chat with him.