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#NarendraModi: How the BJP leader's popularity soars on social media

Narendra Modi always makes headlines and is always in the news. That's not because he is BJP's PM candidate. Modi's strategy of using social media and traditional poll campaigning ensures the cameras are on him. Here are nine ways that Modi uses to be the news.
Hindustan Times | By Tania Goklany
UPDATED ON MAY 12, 2014 05:24 PM IST

Narendra Modi is always in the news and that is not only because he is the BJP's prime ministerial candidate. He has been dominating newsprint, airtime and the digital media for quite some time now.

Modi's strategy of using social media along with traditional election campaigning tools ensure the cameras are on him. Here are some of modern-day tools that Modi has used to keep the spotlight firmly on him.


Modi was one the first Indian politicians to reach out to people in an organised manner on Twitter. It has paid off in a big way. joined Twitter in January 2009 and his number of followers now stands at more than 3.5 million, which is way ahead of any other leader.


Modi's official page on Facebook has 11,245,296 likes. His fans have dedicated many pages to him on the social networking website, for instance 'I want Narendra Modi as Next PM of India', 'I Support Narendra Modi' and 'Narendra Modi For PM'.


In December 2012, Modi addressed 53 locations across Gujarat simultaneously. A 3D avatar stood in for him because he could not, of course, be in all places at the same time. This way he pioneered an extensive tour of his state and got into the prestigious Guinness Book of World Record.


Modi was the first Indian politician to use the Google+ Hangout application for group video chats. In August 2012, he answered questions from people across the world, with the live interaction broadcast on YouTube and Modi's Google+ page. Actor Ajay Devgn anchored the session with the Gujarat chief minister.


Through his blog, Modi has managed to offer his views and even share, for the first time, his feelings about the 2002 Gujarat riots under his watch as CM. "I was shaken to the core. 'Grief', 'Sadness', 'Misery', 'Pain', 'Anguish', 'Agony' - mere words could not capture the absolute emptiness one felt on witnessing such inhumanity," he in December last year about the riots, which hurt his wider acceptablity.


To make himself more approachable to the common man, he has made efforts to speak their language and look like them. When he addressed his first ever election rally in West Bengal in February, he spoke in Bangla.

At his Fateh rally in Punjab's Jagraon district, he wore a saffron turban. He wore the traditional Assamese Koyet turban during his Barak Bikash Samabesh rally at Ramnagar in Silchar.

In pics: Different hats of Narendra


The BJP's Chai pe Charcha campaign centred around Modi saw him interacting live with people using internet and DTH technology. The Election Commission, however, wasn't impressed after the poll dates were announced and the model code of conduct kicked in. On Monday, it ruled the free tea served to people at these events were against the rules.


Considering how aggressively Modi he campaigns online, it is no surprise that he has several websites — one his own and many from his fans. His official website is linked with almost every social networking website.


Modi also has T-shirts, mugs, a store, fireworks, tea stalls and more named after him, which make the NaMo brand stronger. There's also an online store dubbed 'The NaMo Store' that sells merchandise inspired by him.

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