Mamata Banerjee, the undisputed leader on Facebook

Mamata Banerjee has outstripped them all as her official Facebook page crossed 1 lakh followers.

Last Updated: Aug 01, 2012, 18:01 PM IST

Kolkata: With different political parties trying to reach out to netizens, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has outstripped them all as her official Facebook page on Wednesday crossed one lakh followers.

It was around one-and-a-half month ago that Banerjee, who earlier courted controversy for being "intolerant" of comments and cartoons about her on social networking sites, had joined the social media by registering her presence on Facebook.
"In an age of 360 degree communication, we want to stay in touch with people by using all available platforms for communication - from street meetings to posters, stage events to electronic and print media. And, now it has stretched to social media platforms," Trinamool Congress spokesperson Derek O`Brien said.

Party sources said Banerjee spent close to half-an-hour every day o
n social media sites after returning home from office.
Other politicians were also trying to build up their online base but were far behind `didi` in the virtual race.

Among other Trinamool Congress leaders having a strong online presence is Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim who joined Facebook in January, 2011 and now has more than 2,600 online friends.

CPI(M) leaders Kanti Ganguly and Manab Mukherjee, who
have been on Facebook for around two years, have over 5,000 online friends each.
West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (WBPCC) chief Pradip Bhattacharya, who opened an account on Facebook and Twitter a month before Banerjee, has around 500 followers.

Stating that politicians were left with no option but to get logged in, the MP said, "If we tell people something through a press conference or a public meeting, our voices reach them. But we do not get to know what they think.

"But on Facebook we get that feedback from the common people and so we are encouraging our party leaders to use this medium," he said.
Led by Jay Prakash Majumdar, the party has formed a cyber cell which maintains WBPCC`s official Facebook page.

"The number of visitors on the page in a month is almost 13,000. In the next six months you will see that our online presence has increased by leaps and bounds," Majumdar said.

PTI