07/10/2015 7:23 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

PM Modi Faces Social Media Backlash For Tweet On Sidhu, Silence On Dadri

Shri Narendra Modi addressing BJP Karyakarta Sammelan in Goa

It seems Prime Minister Narendra Modi's social media magic is wearing thin.

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister wished former BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu a speedy recovery on Twitter. "You are a fighter & will overcome the illness in your trademark style. Our prayers are with you," the PM wrote.

One wouldn't expect the Prime Minister to receive backlash for a tweet like this.

But, given this came at a time when the nation is still holding its breath for PM Modi to break his silence on the tragic lynching of a Muslim man by a Hindu mob alleging that he had slaughtered a calf, social media wasn't too impressed with him.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah questioned Modi's silence on the Dadri incident.

And, it was not just Abdullah. Many tweeted at Modi asking him what his 'priorities' are.

Modi is the most popular politician on Twitter after US President Barack Obama. In fact, his astute use of social media during the 2014 election campaign was a key factor that led to his victory.

His clout on social media is immense.

A recent report by the U.S.-based think tank Pew Research Center says Modi remains overwhelmingly popular among Indians. Among those surveyed, 87% said they have a favourable opinion of Modi.

Commenting on Modi's popularity on Twitter, Matthias Lüfkens, who was until recently the digital practice leader for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Burson-Marsteller, earlier this year said, “The rise of Narendra Modi has been phenomenal."

“It seems the size of his followers has become a matter of national pride in India. My prediction is that @NarendraModi will become the most popular world leader by 2017, when @BarackObama will leave the White House with his 56 million followers,” he said.

His silence over the Dadri incident is fast becoming the first instance during his 16-month tenure when he is facing questions from social media.


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