BJP, Congress in Madhya Pradesh Spar over Social Media Followers

The BJP and Congress in Madhya Pradesh sparred over social media followers on Wednesday, with the former alleging that the Opposition party has “fake” followers.

Speaking to News18.com, BJP state IT cell in charge Shivraj Singh Dabi said Congress was boasting of having 9.18 lakh Twitter followers. “We probed and found out that 48% of the MP Congress followers that is 4.40 lakh handles were fake. Most of these accounts belong to a particular community and a large number of them are being run from countries such as Pakistan, Syria, Afghanistan and others.”

Asked whether the BJP IT cell was acting on suspected handles, Dabi said Twitter hasn’t offered any legal platform for such dubious profiles. He added that the state BJP has nine lakh followers on Facebook as against seven lakh connected to the Congress. “We have 65,000 WhatsApp groups on every single booth.” He added that Congress’s digital base was limited to state level while the BJP had social media presence in the state, districts and ‘mandals’.

On shaping up BJP’s digital presence during Covid-19, the party IT cell head said the first meet of executive committee was recently addressed online on June 24. Besides, regular meetings and consultations were held virtually in the recent past, he added.

Congress, however, said it has surpassed its counterpart on social media. Abhay Tiwari, the Congress IT cell head, told News18.com that BJP allegations were baseless. Tiwari clarified several handles could be inactive but they were not fake, adding that one needs a mobile phone, Aadhaar card and several other documents to create a Twitter profile.

He added the Congress has around 15 lakh Facebook followers from state to district level, including Lok Sabha and assembly pages, and has 1.75 lakh WhatsApp groups.

Both chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Congress leader Kamal Nath remain active on Twitter. Chouhan has 7.4 million followers while Nath has 1.1 million. Nearly 4.5 lakh user follow Nath on Facebook while Chouhan has his own portal shivrajsinghchouhan.org for online engagements.

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