nsucurrent.com February 19, 2018

BJP unable to ignore Rahul

23 October 2017, 04:05 | Colleen Roy

Rahul Gandhi popularity on Twitter faked? Here's the Russian bot angle

Smriti Irani Hits Back at Rahul Gandhi, Says You Will Lose Gujarat

In turn, Congress national spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi took digs at Irani, indirectly referring to her defeat against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi in the last Lok Sabha polls. However, a cursory glance at the twitter handles retweeting the Congress Vice President's tweets does throw up some questions.are these automated "bots" mass retweeting Rahul Gandhi's tweets? The tweet quickly reached 20,000 retweets and now has touched 30,000 re-tweets.

Rahul's account has also seen an increasing in the number of followers- he has gained more than one million followers on Twitter in the past three months.

Responding to Malviya's charges, actor-turned-politician Divya Spandana, better known as Ramya, who took over the reigns of the Grand Old Party's social media cell from Deepender Singh Hooda, trashed the news report.

Reacting to the media reports, Rathore tweeted: "In sports, this would come under "Doping". hey wait! does "dope" remind you of someone". Further scrutiny of these Twitter accounts showed that the follower list was usually under 10 users and retweets comprised of random topics from across the world and those of Rahul Gandhi, the agency said. The article had given the Congress and other Opposition parties some much needed ammunition to hit out at Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Later the Congress called the BJP's attempt to question Rahul's social media popularity a "diversionary tactic" from the issues raised by the Congress leader online, because BJP did not want to "focus on them".

The BJP alleged that Twitterbots, or fake accounts, located outside India were behind the recent rise in Rahul's popularity on the social media platform. Now, handles friendly to the Congress have charted out what Irani's followers look like, labelling her the "queen of fake followers". "The real issue is why is every minister jumping on Rahul Gandhi but silent on the questions that he is raising... they are not about Russian Federation or Kazhakhstan but about the issues faced by every Indian. Can understand your eagerness to please the I&B ministry and the Bots Janata Party", Divya tweeted.

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