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Modi follows rivals on Twitter, and the #Bhakts are crestfallen

Catch Team | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 6:03 IST

Springing a surprise, Twitter enthusiast Narendra Modi followed some of his political opponents on Holi.

They include Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia; Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Ahmed Patel and Digvijaya Singh, who is known for his acerbic statements against the BJP and the RSS; Nitish Kumar, the BJP's friend-turned-foe chief minister of Bihar.

Kejriwal, newly revealed as the only Indian in Fortune magazine's list of the world's 50 greatest politicians, clearly wasn't touched by the prime minister's gesture. Taking a dig at Modi, the AAP chief said he hoped the move entails better Centre-state relations.

Among others, Modi followed Lalu Prasad, whose frontal attack on the BJP and the RSS, especially on the issue of caste-based reservation, is seen as one of the major factors that turned the Bihar election in favour of the JD(U)-RJD combine. The prime minister also followed Lalu's son and Bihar's deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav, who hoped it entails "speedy responses".

Modi also reached out to Shatrughan Sinha, the BJP MP from Patna who has made it a point to be seen with all the adversaries of his party. Since the Bihar election, the former film star has been giving the BJP headaches by speaking out against the party line every chance he gets.

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Another account that Modi followed was @realhistorypics, which is popular for its sharp and witty captions on archival photographs of Indian politicians. The account, which has posted multiple tweets on Modi in the past, tweeted that it was honoured to have the prime minister as a follower.

Since Modi came to power, many government departments have shored up their presence on social media so much so that much of their information is now being disseminated through it.

Modi and his team had extensively used social media platforms, including twitter, during the Lok Sabha election campaign.

Before this "following spree", Modi mostly followed people who constitute his support base online. Many of them seemed anguished by his latest move, particularly the following of Kejriwal.

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First published: 25 March 2016, 8:14 IST