Digital India and the political class

BY NANDITA JHA| IN Digital Media | 07/10/2015
If the personal use of digital tools is a measure of conviction, many leading politicians today, including several cabinet ministers, would fall short.
Research by NANDITA JHA

A politician may not have to be Net and social media savvy him/herself  to be able to provide leadership in moving governance online, or planning for increased Internet penetration for his constituency. But if personal use of digital communication tools is a measure  of their conviction, many leading politicians today, including several cabinet ministers, would fall short.

The focus on the use of digital communication  by the political class has come about because of the prime minister’s  high profile advocacy of the Internet and social media and his reliance on Twitter to communicate with citizens.  If we were to begin by looking at Twitter, he leads the pack among his cabinet ministers.

Those on twitter in order of activeness are:

 

 

Twitter Handle

No of tweets

(till Oct 1, ’15)

Ministry

1

Narendra Modi

@narendramodi

9,491

PM

2

Smriti Irani

@smritiirani

7,411

HRD

3

Kalraj Mishra

@KalrajMishra

4,167

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

4

Sushma Swaraj

@SushmaSwaraj

3,270

External Affairs

5

Ravi Shankar Prasad

@rsprasad

1,841

Communications and Information Technology

6

Suresh Prabhu

@sureshpprabhu

1,752

Railways

7

Rajnath Singh

@BJPRajnathSingh

1,533

Home Affairs

8

Ananth Kumar

@AnanthKumar_BJP

1,224

Chemicals and Fertilizers

9

JP Nadda

@JPNadda

1,195

Health and Family Welfare

10

Harsh Vardhan

@drharshvardhan

1,007

Science and Technology

11

Arun Jaitley

@arunjaitley

980

Finance, Corporate Affairs, I & B

12

M Venkaiah Naidu

@MVenkaiahNaidu

904

Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation,

Parliamentary Affairs

13

Nitin Gadkari

@nitin_gadkari

724

Road Transport and Highways

Shipping

14

Maneka Gandhi

@Manekagandhibjp

332

Women and Child Development

15

Manohar Parikar

@manoharparrikar

122

Defence

 

Most active on twitter. Clockwise: Narendra Modi, Smriti Irani, Kalraj Mishra, Sushma Swaraj

 

Political leaders who belong to other parties  include champion tweeters who far outnumber those in government.

Top 5 Tweeters among politicians

Politician

Twitter Handle

No of tweets

Derek O’Brien

@quizderek

30.2K

Shashi Tharoor

@ShashiTharoor

28.7K

Narendra Modi

@narendramodi

9,491

Arvind Kejriwal

@ArvindKejriwal

8,950

Smriti Irani

@smritiirani

7,411

 

We took three indicators of personal use of the Web and social media: Twitter accounts,websites and blogs.  The only cabinet member to have all three, apart from his official website and official twitter account, is the prime minister.

Those who had none of these were the following nine:

No website, no twitter, and no blog

 

Cabinet Ministers

Ministry

1

Uma Bharti

Water Resources

2

Najma A Heptulla

Minority Affairs

3

Ram Vlas Paswan

Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution

4

Ashok Gajapathi Raju

Civil Aviation

5

Anant Geete

Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises

6

Narendra Singh Tomar

Mines, Steel

7

Ch. Birender Singh

Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Sanitation

8

Radha Mohan Singh

Agriculture

9

Thawar Chand Gehlot

Social Justice and Empowerment

 

Some ministers have both websites and Twitter accounts:

Website and Twitter

Ravi Shankar Prasad

http://www.ravishankarprasad.in/en/

@rsprasad

 

Rajnath Singh

www.rajnathsingh.in/

@BJPRajnathSingh

M Venkaiah Naidu

http://mvenkaiahnaidu.com

@MVenkaiahNaidu

Nitin Gadkari

http://www.nitingadkari.org/

@nitin_gadkari

Suresh Prabhu

http://www.sureshprabhu.in

@sureshpprabhu

Kalraj Mishra

http://kalrajmishra.com/

@KalrajMishra

Ananth Kumar

http://ananth.org/

@AnanthKumar_BJP

Harsh Vardhan

http://www.drharshvardhan.com

@drharshvardhan

 

Some have only websites, and out of 26 cabinet ministers only one has a blog. That is Arun Jaitley but he penned his thoughts for a very short period.(5 August 2014 to 14 January  2015)

 

Ministers with personal websites

Harsimrat Kaur Badal

http://www.harsimratbadal.com/

No verified Twitter account

No blog

Jual Oram

http://jualoram.com

No verified account

No blog

Sadananda Gowda

http://sadanandagowda.com

No Verified account

No Blog

 

Those without websites or blogs.

1

Smriti Irani

2

Sushma Swaraj

3

Manohar Parikar

4

Uma Bharti

5

Najma A Heptulla

6

Ram Vilas Paswan

7

Maneka Gandhi

8

JP Nadda

9

Ashok Gajapathi Raju

10

Anant Geete

11

Narendra Singh Tomar

12

Ch. Birender Singh

13

Radha Mohan Singh

Those not on Twitter are: 

No Twitter Account

1

Sadananda Gowda

2

Uma Bharti

3

Najma A Heptulla

4

Ram Vilas Paswan

5

Ashok Gajapathi Raju

6

Anant Geete

7

Harsimrat Kaur Badal

8

Narendra Singh Tomar

9

Ch. Birender Singh

10

Jual Oram

11

Radha Mohan Singh

12

Thawar Chand Gehlot

 

And finally what is the picture with regard to Congress politicians?  Rahul Gandhi himself doesn’t have anything, the Twitter account in his name is handled by his office. 

 

Congress politicians

Politician

Website

Twitter

Blog

Rahul Gandhi

No Website

@OfficeOfRG, Official Twitter Account

No Blog

Sonia Gandhi

http://www.soniaindia.com/intro.html

No Account

No Blog

Shashi Tharoor

http://www.shashitharoor.in/

@ShashiTharoor

 

No Blog

 

Digvijay Singh

http://www.digvijayasingh.in/

@digvijaya_28

http://www.digvijayasingh.in/articles.html

Rajiv Shukla

http://rajeevshukla.com/

@ShuklaRajiv

http://rajeevshukla.com/blogdetail.aspx?blog_id=1

 

 

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