Other States

It’s official! Mayawati is on Twitter

After rejecting it for long, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati finally has an official presence on social media. Ms. Mayawati will be tweeting under the handle @SushriMayawati, the party announced on Wednesday.

As per a statement issued by the party in Lucknow on Wednesday, Ms. Mayawati decided to join the social media platform “for speedy interaction with media and masses besides expressing her views of national and political importance through Twitter.”

Ms. Mayawati's entry into social media also assumes significance ahead of the 2019 General Elections, in which her party and the Samajwadi Party are forged an alliance. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has been active on social media for the past few years and commands an impressive 8.9 million followers on Twitter as of Wednesday.

Though @SushriMayawati handle was registered in Twitter in October 2018, the party made the official announcement only on Wednesday. On January 22, a tweet from the verified handle said it will be Ms. Mayawati's official one for “all my future interactions, comments and updates.”

 

The BSP chief's new openness to social media is in sharp contrast to her earlier position in which she dismissed the medium as being irrelevant to her cause. Last year, Ms. Mayawati even distanced herself from some accounts that were running in the name of the BSP informally, clarifying the party has no official website, Facebook or Twitter accounts. Any such pages, accounts or sites running in the name of the BSP are “unauthorized and fake,” Ms. Mayawati had said.

Earlier in August 2017, just before the Opposition rally in Patna, Ms. Mayawati reacted dismissively after an online poster showed her in the same frame as other Opposition leaders — Akhilesh Yadav, Tejaswi Yadav, Lalu Prasad, Sharad Yadav, Mamata Banerjee and Sonia Gandhi.

After the poster was widely circulated and discussed on social media, Ms. Mayawati issued a clarification condemning the content of the poster as “false propaganda and wrong.” She also stressed that the BSP “does not have any official Twitter account.”

The four-time former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister had then argued that the BSP regularly issued press notes in Hindi to express its viewpoints in detail for the benefit of media as well as common people. “Twitter does not allow this facility,” she had said.

Ironically, all her tweets so far from her newly-made official Twitter handle, including the introductory note, have been in English.

While the BSP does not have a formal social media policy, during the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, the party was uncharacteristically active on the platform. Guided by Paresh Mishra, son-in-law of its general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra, and other Dalit and Ambedkarite volunteers the party ran various Twitter handles, Facebook pages and WhatsApp groups.

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Printable version | May 22, 2020 7:14:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/its-official-mayawati-is-on-twitter/article26191397.ece

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