Twitter the new platform for ‘power’ gossip

  • Zia Haq, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Nov 05, 2014 00:00 IST

There’s a new place for political gossip: Twitter. After having electrified the Lok Sabha elections in May, social media is playing a punchy role in Indian politics once again — this time as a ‘trustworthy’ source for rumours and everything that is unfit to print or air.

Did you know that BJP chief Amit Shah is considering tucking in his bulging waistline with a bariatric surgery in the US? Or that Robert phoned in a “dynasty hack” to limit damage from an unseemly incident? We can’t independently verify all this, but these are breaking rumours, if you like.

A slew of anonymous Twitter handles, like @LutyensSpice, @Lutyensmasala and @Raisinarumors have become active lately and much of the slander-masquerading-as-gossip is directed at rival political establishments. Sample this from @LutyensSpice: A newspaper editor recently took notes from NSA on vilifying Mamata Banerjee as a minority appeasing CM. Or this from @Lutyensmasala: It is incredible the amount of money Congress has set aside for Muffler. Kisi bhi haalat mein Muffler ko CM banao.

For those craving political boardroom gossip, this one is sure to be exhilarating: “When Amit Shah met Uma Bharti, sparks flew, just like they did in the Nripen Mishra meeting.”

The handles @LutyensSpice and @Lutyensmasala are a jousting arena for left-right standard bearers from the world of news media, where partisan hacks offer leaks, on-the-fly analysis and dish out a generally snarky fare without anyone refereeing on them.

Following suit are other handles such as @RaisinaRumors, which broke a pretty damning rumour: “Prashant Bhushan is going to hold a press conference to expose disproportionate assets of some ministers in Modi cabinet.”

A follower @SandipGhose, summed up the phenomenon aptly with this post: “Suddenly all these handles appearing from nowhere…Looks like lot of people out of jobs in Delhi.” We can’t confirm this one either.

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