New Delhi: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is thinking of acquiring a personal Twitter handle, and the account may be launched in a fortnight, according to two people familiar with the development.
But with general elections only months away, the move may have come too late, some experts said.
The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi opened his Twitter account back in January 2009, and has 3.3 million followers.
Minister of state for human resource development Shashi Tharoor joined the social media site in March 2009 and has 2.1 million followers. Other politicians who are active tweeters include Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah with 439,000 followers and Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, who has 138,000 followers.
A large public relations blitz by the Congress has increased Gandhi’s visibility across media outlets recently, with his first print media interview—to Dainik Bhaskar—printed on 14 January and a television interview with Arnab Goswami of Times Now shown on 27 January.
“By itself, I don’t see this as a significant move,” said Santosh Desai, MD and CEO of Futurebrands Ltd. He gave the example of the Twitter account of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) that only broadcasts materials and information in what he called “a passive one-dimensional format”, without driving conversations. The PMO’s Twitter handle became active in June 2012 and has close to 1.1 million followers.
“We do not comment on individual accounts,” said a Twitter spokesperson in response to Mint’s query.