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  • Writer's pictureDahlia Foundation

PM readies for Lok Sabha election with new social media style

People following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s handle on X have been noticing a distinct change of gears in his style of communication, with posts packed with pop references, sharp sarcasm, and emojis aimed at the Opposition, a trend which sources in the government say will continue as the new style appears to be finding favour with the youth ahead of the General Election.

On December 12, Mr. Modi cited the popular OTT series Money Heist to refer to a post by the BJP on the large sums of unaccounted cash reportedly recovered from Congress Rajya Sabha MP Dhiraj Sahu, which enforcement agencies tabulated with multiple cash counting machines. “In India, who needs ‘Money Heist’ fiction, when you have the Congress party, whose heists are legendary for 70 years and counting,” Mr. Modi posted on X.

His first such post was a day after the Assembly election results were declared for four States — Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana — with the three Hindi-speaking States falling into the BJP’s kitty. Mr. Modi posted a clip titled “Meltdown-e-Azam” targeting certain sections of the Congress party for speaking of a ‘north vs. south divide’ in the electorate following the Congress’ victory only in Telugu-speaking Telangana and none of the Hindi-speaking States. “May they be happy with their arrogance, lies, pessimism and ignorance. But... Beware of their divisive agenda. An old habit of 70 years can’t go away so easily. Also, such is the wisdom of the people that they have to be prepared for many more meltdowns ahead,” Mr. Modi said.

Mr. Modi has been known to be interactive on social media before, responding to messages tagging him, and following political rivals and parody accounts that poked fun at him, but this new aggressive style may be a pointer to a new social media strategy.

People in the know say the new style is in line with the way Mr. Modi pulls no punches in his election campaign rallies. According to sources, feedback on this new style has been encouraging, especially from the younger demographic, and “is not an isolated effort”.

This is an important demographic for the BJP to capture, and sources in the party confirmed the BJP’s own social media activities are leaning more towards memes and pop culture references for better relatability. “The BJP has also deployed many popular Instagram trends like ‘Moye Moye’ and ‘Spotify Wrapped Spoof’ to get a good response,” a source in the party said.

The PM is the BJP’s biggest political asset both online and offline, and his communication style will reflect the political contest ahead.

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