As BJP inches towards a thumping victory, social media is abuzz with tweets and posts about the party’s race to the coveted 272-majority number. #Results2014, #PMNaMo, #Elections2014 and #raceto272 were some of the top trending hashtags on Twitter, while posts with BJP’s election message “Ab Ki Baaar Modi sarkaar” filled Facebook timelines. A tweet from journalist Sagarika Ghose reads, “Modification, even if Rahul wins Amethi, the worst Cong result ever must lead to an immediate end to Family raj #Verdict2014”, while another wrote “Whoever wins, am hoping 4 a corruption free India, a stable economy, a safe country, less unemployment. M happy 2b a part of #Raceto272”.
The BJP-led NDA appears to be heading for a victory in the Lok Sabha elections with the trends in the counting of votes giving the saffron party leads in 257 seats on its own while its allies led in 39 seats. The Congress was struggling with leads only in 45 seats. BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was leading with 1.43 lakh votes in Vadodara, Gujarat and Congress President Sonia Gandhi was leading with over 3,000 votes in Rae Bareli. Search giant Google, which features a special Doodle (featuring election ink painted on the index finger) on its India homepage, is offering live results as the votes are counted.
Social networking giant Facebook said 29 million people in India have made 227 million interactions through posts, comments, shares, and likes about the elections from the day they were announced on May 12. That is about two-thirds of all daily active Facebook users in India and an average of 10 interactions per person, it added. In addition, 13 million people made 75 million interactions regarding Narendra Modi. “During the election, Narendra Modi became the second most-liked politician on Facebook, behind only President Obama. Arvind Kejriwal also joined the ranks of the top five liked politicians globally,” it said.
With over 23 million voters in the age group of 18-19 years, India is the third largest Internet users base globally (of more than 238 million users) with a majority comprising of youth. A study by IRIS Knowledge Foundation and Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) says there are 160 high impact constituencies in India out of 543, which are likely to be influenced by social media during the general elections.