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Get 3 lakh ‘genuine’ Facebook likes each, Modi tells BJP MPs

The PM’s stress on the importance of using social media effectively comes nearly a year ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

india Updated: Mar 26, 2018 08:01 IST
Kumar Uttam
Kumar Uttam
Hindustan Times
Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at Facebook in Menlo Park, California, Sept 27, 2015.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at Facebook in Menlo Park, California, Sept 27, 2015. (AP File Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked each Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP to get at least 300,000 likes on their Facebook page, and offered to hold a live video call with workers from their constituencies if the target is achieved, according to three leaders from the party.

The target was set on Friday in a dinner meeting that Modi and party president Amit Shah had with BJP MPs at the new party headquarters in Delhi.

A BJP MP who attended the meeting said the Prime Minister asked which of the MPs were active on Facebook, to which most people raised their hands. The PM then asked how many of them had 300,000 likes on their pages, to which only a few responded in the affirmative.

“The PM offered to address, through live video call, the mandal-level workers in our constituencies if we achieved this target,” the BJP MP said on condition of anonymity. “He was particular that these likes should be ‘genuine’ likes, and should not be ‘bought’ through marketing companies offering such services,” a second BJP MP said.

The PM’s stress on the importance of using social media effectively comes nearly a year ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

It coincides with government’s warning of consequences to Facebook if the election process in India was interfered with, in light of the political storm over alleged breach of FB data by election management company Cambridge Analytics to influence poll outcomes in other countries including the US.

At Friday’s dinner, Hiren Joshi, an officer on special duty (Information Technology) in the Prime Minister’s Office, made a presentation to the parliamentarians on how to use the NaMo App for dissemination of information related to the achievements of the government in different sectors, said another MP present at the meeting.

BJP MPs Poonam Mahajan, Pratap Simha and Rajiv Pratap Rudy were held up by Joshi as examples of MPs who were using social media effectively, said the first leader quoted above.