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Election Tracker: Priyanka Vadra surges ahead; Congress gets a shot in the arm

29-April-2014
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Election Tracker: Priyanka Vadra surges ahead; Congress gets a shot in the arm

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s scathing verbal volleys with BJP and Narendra Modi over the last few days have caused her popularity on Twitter to skyrocket. Priyanka, who was nowhere in the top 20 list over the past few months, has suddenly surged ahead to the third position in the top 10 list. Surprisingly, her favourability score also saw a major boost, with Priyanka even outscoring her more prominent family members on many factors. The interest in this war of words is further seen in the number of tweets using the hashtags #PriyankaVsBJP and #DamaadGate, the former of which has so far received 38,000 mentions, while the latter was also seen to be trending since the beginning of this week.

“After all, no news is bad news in the online world. In fact, it is surprising that her favourability has increased. She scored 83 out of 100 in terms of favourability, while her overall SSI (Simplify360 Social Index) is 80, which is higher than even her brother and Sonia Gandhi,” noted Vang Lian, Head of Research, Simplify360.

Among the leaders, the BJP’s top leadership continues to elicit positive sentiments from the Twitterati, as is clearly seen from the high favourability scores as well as the number of BJP leaders in the Top 10 list, as compared to those from other parties.

As can be seen, Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal continue to receive consistently high positive mentions, with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra the surprise entrant in the top 3 list for this week. Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, meanwhile, have the highest number of negative mentions.

However, the story is different when it comes to the political parties. In a trend we have seen since January, though Modi seems to have found favour among the populace, the same cannot be said about the BJP, with positive sentiment sliding considerably over the last week. On the other hand, the Congress has seen a clear increase in positive sentiment, scoring 22.34 per cent, the highest among all political parties.

Having taken a look at Twitter conversations for a number of months now, it seems clear that the Indian electorate is divided between a seemingly pro-Modi and anti-BJP sentiments. With positive sentiment around the Congress party still high, it will be interesting to see how the lack of any central leadership figure or prime ministerial candidate affects the party’s performance. Will Indians finally vote for personal charisma and the promise of better governance or stick to the Congress’ assurance of a secular society based on equality?

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