It's not an easy task to keep your followers happy especially if you have millions of them on social media. Ask the Bharatiya Janata Party.
On Monday evening, BJP MP Chandan Mitra called the supporters of the saffron party as “people with nothing very much better to do” on national television.
When NDTV's Barkha Dutt asked whether social media and political rhetoric influences the country's policies, the Rajya Sabha MP denied it.
“I don’t think any government can actually frame foreign policy or any other policy for that matter on the basis of the Twitterati which is hyperbolic at times. BJP’s policy is not decided by Twitterati,” Mitra said.
"Yes it's a useful sounding board as to how some people with nothing very much better to do express their opinions on various subjects," he said.
Soon after Mitra's remark, his Twitter page was flooded with messages slamming him.
Anguished BJP supporters lashed out at Mitra seeking an apology and some even demanding his sacking.
Requested umpteen number of times to not send Chandan Mitra on TV debates but it fell on deaf ears https://t.co/eY3fuPrvWC
— Dhaval Patel (@dhaval241086) December 7, 2015
Shame on you chandan mitra, we are not lyk u which are in active politcs & hold positions. We are selfless workrs. https://t.co/OoHqcv8NiA
— एंडी माणस® (@NitishGaur_) December 7, 2015
Damage is done Modiji...chandan mitra ko nikalo party se...aisi bhi kya majbooriyan hain modiji...hum bhi to sune https://t.co/MNvrx1A1rs
— Shekhar (@MangoBwoy) December 8, 2015
Dear Chandan Mitra if @BJP4India doesnt care about Twiteratti why did PM meet founder of biggest Social Media Network - Facebook?
— Avinash (@avinashbhat01) December 8, 2015
Some threatened to stop tweeting in support of the BJP:
— SecularScientist (@SwarupPhD) December 7, 2015
@kushanmitra and believe me, BJP can say goodbye to 2019 already if party line is to think that online support base are assholes.
— Rahul Roushan (@rahulroushan) December 7, 2015
This is not the first time BJP's supporters have expressed their displeasure online after being offended by a party leader.
Last week, Member of Parliament Anurag Thakur, who is also president of one of the party's youth wings, said that social media did not represent the "sense of the nation".
Thakur was attempting to explain why India has been more willing to engage with Pakistan of late, especially over cricket.
#ShameOnAnuragThakur trending on Twitter, with many supporters asking the party officials to sack Thakur.
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