New Delhi: With elections not far away, the turf wars have begun, especially on Twitter. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has beaten Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor to become the most popular Indian politician on the social networking website.
The Modi fanclub is overjoyed. "Modi is the most popular leader of the nation, it is obvious as he is leading on Twitter as well," said BJP leader Vijay Sonkar Shashtri.
Shashi Tharoor, who was one of the first politicians to get on to Twitter, was on the top of the leaderboard for many years. But Modi, with 1,821,1119 followers has now taken the lead, while Tharoor retains the second position with 1,820728 fans.
But when it comes to political competition on social media, global competition still seems like a faraway dream, with US President Barack Obama being followed by close to 33 million people.
Coming back to the national scenario, a recent survey shows that Narendra Modi is also the most mentioned Indian politician on Twitter. It is Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi who grabs the second position, even though Congress's probable Prime Ministerial candidate doesn't even have a Twitter account.
Closely following are Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi. The surprise package, though, is Aam Aadmi Party National Convener Arvind Kejriwal, sitting comfortably at number 5.
According to the same survey, what works in Narendra Modi's favour are his development and economic policies and also religion and caste, and as much as the BJP's poll campaign chief would like to forget the year 2002, the negative mentions still include the post Godhra riots and Owaisi's arrest.
With the Lok Sabha elections on the top of everybody's mind, politicians are fighting out a tough war in every sphere and if Twitter is any measure, Narendra Modi still has a long way to go, because it's the likes of Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga who have this world conquered with close to 40 million followers.