Modi tags about 100 people in marathon Twitter mention spree to drum up voter participation
The 29-tweet spree, sent out to Modi's 46mn followers, called upon Bollywood stars, politicians, religious leaders, and athletes to use their fame to encourage voting. Each tweet included a personalized message relevant to the line of work of those mentioned.
The prolific Phogat sisters, @geeta_phogat, @BabitaPhogat, @PhogatRitu and @Phogat_Vinesh manifest the best of Indian sporting talent. We've seen you in the wrestling world. I urge you all to support the movement to ensure greater voter participation in the 'Chunavi Dangal.'— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 13, 2019
The prime minister didn’t ask for support for his own party, keeping his comments aimed at bringing out voters in general. His first tweet was a sportsman-like message for members of the opposition parties he will be competing against come April.
I appeal to @RahulGandhi, @MamataOfficial, @PawarSpeaks, @Mayawati, @yadavakhilesh, @yadavtejashwi and @mkstalin to encourage increased voter participation in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. A high turnout augurs well for our democratic fabric.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 13, 2019
While his cause of rallying support for democracy is certainly admirable, his efforts to appeal to certain cultural segments came across as a little out of touch.
Dear @srikidambi, @Pvsindhu1 & @NSaina, The core of badminton is the court and the core of democracy is the vote. Just like you smash records, do also inspire a record-breaking voter turnout. I request you to increase voter awareness & motivate youth to vote in large numbers.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 13, 2019
In a tweet directed at popular actors Ranveer Singh, Varun Dhawan, and Vicky Kaushal, Modi stressed the pull the stars have with “youngsters,” employing variations of slang used by India’s youth. Specific political positions aside, imagine an analog where Joe Biden tags Jason Momoa asking, “what’s the tea?”
My young friends @RanveerOfficial, @Varun_dvn & @vickykaushal09, Many youngsters admire you. It is time to tell them: Apna Time Aa Gaya Hai and that it is time to turn up with high Josh to a voting centre near you.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 13, 2019
Kaushal popularized the phrase “how’s the josh?” in a film called Surgical Strike from 2016, and it has since gone viral and become something of a cultural phenomenon.
With around 100 million young people eligible to vote for the first time this year, securing their participation is an understandable priority.Also on rt.com Bollywood legend Rishi Kapoor calls for Indian & Pakistani ARMIES to ‘join hands’ against terrorism
Modi described voting as one of Indian citizens’ “prime duties” in a press release Wednesday, tasking the country with mobilizing as many people as possible to register with only about a month remaining until election day. He went as far as suggesting that those who do not vote are subjected to “great anguish.”
This year’s elections come against a background of rising tension between India and Pakistan, two nuclear-armed neighbors on the brink of war since the beginning of the year.
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