National

PM Modi ‘signs off’, hands over social media accounts to 7 ‘women achievers’

NEW DELHI, MAR 8 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 3/8/2020 12:02:05 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday gave his social media handles to seven “women achievers”, following up on a statement he had made on Monday.

“Greetings on International Women’s Day! We salute the spirit and accomplishments of our Nari Shakti. As I’d said a few days ago, I’m signing off. Through the day, seven women achievers will share their life journeys and perhaps interact with you through my social media accounts,” Modi tweeted.

“These women have done great work in a wide range of sectors. Their struggles and aspirations motivate millions,” he said.

The first to tweet from the PM’s Twitter handle was Sneha Mohandoss, founder of Food Bank India, and she was followed by Dr. Malvika Iyer, a disability rights activist who lost her arms in a bomb blast.

Modi, with roughly 50 million followers on Twitter; 44 million ‘likes’ on Facebook and 35 million followers on Instagram, uses social media to speak about his government’s policies or appealing for peace.

Last week, he surprised his followers when he was announced that he was “thinking” of giving up his social media accounts. Thousands of people appealed him to stay but the Congress party accused of him encouraging online trolls.

Sitaram Yechury, a leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), described the government’s campaigns on Women’s Day as “tokenism and gimmickry”.

“Women’s Day is not just about one day. Its revolutionary origins for equal wages and rights are a powerful and important reinforcer of those who hold up half the sky,” said Yechury on Twitter, saying the government was sitting on a Bill that proposes to amend the Constitution of India to reserve 33 per cent of all seats in the Lok Sabha and in all state legislative assemblies for women.

The prime minister has accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

The prime minister is one of the most-followed world leaders on social media with 53.3 million followers on Twitter, 44 million on Facebook and 35.2 million on Instagram.

The Twitter handle of Prime Minister’s Office has 32 million followers.

In September 2019, PM Modi was the third-most followed world leader on the microblogging site, behind only US President Donald Trump and his predecessor Barack Obama.

The prime minister was the first Indian to cross the 50-million followers mark on Twitter.

 

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