Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Monday joined Twitter and garnered a massive response, attracting over one lakh followers on the social media platform within 10 hours. Comparing her first-day popularity on the micro-blogging website to that of Tamil superstar Rajinikanth, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor hailed her as a "new superstar on social media".
Tharoor, who is among the first from Congress to have joined the Twitter bandwagon and the party's second most-followed leader after its president Rahul Gandhi on this medium, said "Rajinikanth was the only person who in his his first 24 hours on Twitter got two lakh followers. "Given that Priyanka Gandhi has had only 12 hours on Twitter (so far) and she has got one lakh followers she seems to be on course to rival Rajinikanth. Looks like a new superstar on social media is born," he told PTI.
Significantly, she was yet to post her first tweet when the number of her followers crossed the one-lakh mark.Her logging on to Twitter with the account @priyankagandhi also came on the day of her maiden visit to Uttar Pradesh as an AICC general secretary."Smt Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is now on Twitter. You may follow her at @priyankagandhi," a tweet from the Congress' official Twitter handle said.
At the last count, she followed seven accounts, including the Congress' official handle and those of her brother and party chief Rahul Gandhi, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot, Ashok Gehlot, Randeep Singh Surjewala and Ahmed Patel.Priyanka Gandhi, 47, and Scindia, 48, took charge as AICC General Secretary UP east and UP west, respectively, last week.
The Congress seems to have learnt its lessons from 2014, and has been scaling up its operations on social media platforms to challenge the BJP on a front which has been the saffron party's forte. Rahul Gandhi has also been using Twitter for his attacks on the government and analysts credit his aggressive social media campaign for a turnaround of his image among the people.
Earlier, Tharoor welcomed Priyanka Gandhi on Twitter, saying: "It was once a lonely furrow for a Congressman to plough ? glad to see @INCIndia stalwarts now all take to it with enthusiasm."Rahul Gandhi has over 8.47 followers on Twitter to Tharoor's 6.75 million followers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi remains the most-followed Indian politician with 45.4 million followers on Twitter.