Krishna Uppuluri/ ZRG
Expanding its online reach, the Ministry of Railways has officially joined Facebook as part of the government’s effort to use social media in communicating with citizens. Railways was one of the few ministries missing from the social media circle even though its minister was active on it since the 2014 General Elections.
Railway passengers in India are increasingly using smartphones with internet access. In June, when fares were hiked, many commuters commented on the move on Facebook and Twitter.
The Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda has more than 12,000 followers on Twitter and over 13,000 on Facebook. He also has a website called www.sadanandagowda.com
Narendra Modi on Facebook/Twitter
The PMO India on Facebook has more than 3.5 million total page ‘likes’ (6.2 per cent up from last week). Modi’s Facebook page has 19.1 million page likes since 2009. On Facebook, he is the second most popular politician in the world with over.
The PMO India Twitter handle has more than 1.84 million followers.
Modi’s own Twitter handle has 5.14 million followers. He climbed to 3rd place among world leaders’ Twitter ranks. US President Obama and the Pope are ahead of him.
Modi had said on his Facebook page that "a platform such as Facebook can be used for governance and better interaction between the people and governments."
NDA on Facebook/Twitter
Following their leader, even ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Smriti Irani and others have followed suit and opened pages on Facebook. They keep updating it daily about what was done in the ministry.
They are also active users of Twitter with each of them having more than 4.5 lakh followers.
The Ministry of Finance and External Affairs has each more than two lakh ‘likes’.
BJP’s 2014 election manifesto had mentioned about social media. The manifesto read, ‘We will leverage technology for e-Governance and engage proactively with the people through social media for participative governance and effective public grievance redressal mechanism’.