Home / Politics / News /  Rahul Gandhi starts his Telegram channel to engage directly with people

NEW DELHI: An aggressive stand on Twitter, a YouTube channel dedicated to his videos, one-on-one interviews with experts, and now a Telegram channel -former Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been tapping social media forums to engage directly with people.

His outreach to people comes in the backdrop of a renewed demand for his return to the top post. Earlier this week, the issue was raised by a section of senior party leaders during the Congress party's working committee meeting and later again in a virtual meeting with state unit chiefs.

A Telegram channel only allows the administrator to post messages and views. Gandhi has 5,200+ subscribers on the app as of now.

A senior leader of party's communication department confirmed that the channel is authorised but the party is awaiting verification from Telegram. The description of the channel says "Official channel of Shri Rahul Gandhi, Member of Parliament".

Senior party leaders feel that while an "image makeover" angle cannot be ruled out, the increased outreach on social media has also been necessitated due to social distancing and absence of practically any large scale political engagements.

"He is a young leader and has otherwise also been active on social media for long. Nearly three months of lockdown has meant finding newer ways of virtual engagement to express party's view and development," a senior party leader said requesting anonymity.

Gandhi has 14.9 million followers on Twitter, and he has been using the platform to express his stand on the India-China border standoff in Ladakh. On Instagram he has over 1 million followers where he shares bits of most of his video interactions via IGTV. His YouTube channel has 3.1 lakh subscribers.

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