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Humour and sarcasm give new edge to Rahul Gandhi’s social media campaign

The renewed vigour in the Congress vice president’s Twitter strategy is evident in his recent posts.

india Updated: Oct 16, 2017 21:42 IST
Nisheeth Upadhyay
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi tweeted on Monday that rhetoric would rain down on Gujarat ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the election-bound state.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi tweeted on Monday that rhetoric would rain down on Gujarat ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the election-bound state.(Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is mixing humour and sarcasm more often to pack a new punch in his social media campaigns ahead of elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

Political rivals have often criticised and ridiculed the Gandhi scion for what they say is his failure to communicate well with the electorate, calling him a confused leader.

However, after his recent visit to the US, experts said Gandhi looked more confident and spoke impressively. The 47-year-old discussed policy issues, social tensions in India and why dynasties were prevalent in the country, all of which seemed to strike the right note with his audiences.

The renewed vigour in the Congress vice president’s Twitter strategy is evident in his posts.

On Monday, Gandhi turned a weatherman, declaring on Twitter that a spell of rhetoric would rain down on Gujarat ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the election-bound state.

Gandhi’s dig came amid speculation that PM Modi would announce sops for poll-bound Gujarat. The Congress vice president also tagged a Hindustan Times report headlined ‘As Gujarat waits for poll date, state gets projects worth nearly Rs 12,500 crore’ with his tweet.

The tweet came a day after Gandhi attempted a takedown of Modi, US President Donald Trump and Pakistan – all in one tweet.

Gandhi was attacking Modi over his claims of growing friendship between India and the United States.

Trump had earlier lashed out at Pakistan, accusing it of “housing the very terrorists that we are fighting”. His criticism of Pakistan came after Modi’s US visit in June. The Prime Minister was photographed hugging Trump, who described Modi as a “true friend”.

The Congress’ renewed attempts to revive its dwindling political fortunes are evident in the recent activity of the official Twitter handle of Gandhi’s office.

With couplets and sarcasm aimed at Modi, who overshadowed his prime ministerial ambitious in the run-up to the 2014 election, Gandhi has produced some popular tweets.

On October 12, quoting a report that read the ‘World Bank had downgraded India’s growth forecast’, Gandhi tweeted: “These pessimists are going global. Why don’t they just go away?”

This was in reference to Modi’s remark that people who constantly looked for lacunae in the government’s economic policies were pessimists and should be avoided.

A tweet posted by Gandhi on September 27 has been re-tweeted about 6,000 times.

“Ladies & Gentlemen, this is your copilot & FM speaking. Plz fasten your seat belts & take brace position.The wings have fallen off our plane,” he tweeted, tagging a piece written by BJP leader Yashwant Sinha over India’s slowing economic growth.

Reports say Gandhi gained more than one million followers between July and September, showing that his new Twitter strategy appears to be working.

With inputs from agencies