As the 2014 election draws closer, there's no shying away from the fact that the online population will have some impact on it as well.
While India's netizens might account for only 10-12 percent of the total population of the country, the fact is that this section has been very vocal online about airing opinions on key political candidates such as Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh.
Twitter and Facebook are the news means for expressing political leanings. In such a scenario it's interesting to track what drives conversations online.
According to a report by BlogWorks, Narendra Modi is way ahead of the pack when it comes to online mentions. The report says that mentions of Narendra Modi have seen the highest and most consistent increase by the rate of 126 percent since January 2013. This is way higher than all other politicians in India.
‘Development and economy’ which has been Modi's key agenda has dropped over a period of time on online discussions. Instead ‘Law, order & internal affairs’ have gained prominence in discussions in July 2013. Positive mentions under ‘Caste & religion’ have been increasing for Modi as well.
Modi-mania is certainly on a high as in the period of June-July, he generated almost nine times more buzz than Rahul Gandhi.
The report notes that Modi has the online advantage against Rahul Gandhi, who is number two on the list but his mentions have decreased by 2 percent in the same period. According to the report, things are looking quite bad for Rahul baba with a lot of negative sentiment floating online around him.
The report says, that July saw a surge in negative sentiment for Rahul Gandhi – increasing from 27 percent in June to 82 percent in July 2013. ‘Corruption’ was the most mentioned theme for Rahul Gandhi in July 2013 and 89 percent of these mentions under ‘Corruption’ were negative.
He was also termed as the ‘biggest beneﬁciary of corrupt dynastic politics’ and he has also been mentioned for his alleged role in the Railgate scam, says the report.
As far UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is concerned, she is number three on the list and seems to have got a lot of flak for speculation around Telangana. Her food bill has been seen as populist without any rationale to it.
Manmohan Singh is number four on the list, with ‘Development & economy’ being the most talked about theme for him in July 2013. The PM's lack of a stand on the Food Security Bill drew negative mentions under ‘Development & economy’.
You can read the full report here.
Also don't forget to register your vote with us on FirstVote, which is India's largest online digital opinion poll. You can click here to vote.