Digital BJP MPs and PM Modi’s annual appraisal

NEW DELHI: It is annual appraisal time in offices nationwide, so why should BJP MPs be treated differently?

Illustration: Deepak Harichandan
Illustration: Deepak Harichandan

The party’s digital cell has tracked the ‘digital profile’ of all the 282 Lok Sabha members of the party (except Speaker Sumitra Mahajan) on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s instructions.

The appraisal collates the number of their followers on Twitter and Facebook, the number of ‘likes’ and retweets and how much of the government’s work is propagated through these accounts. The report with comments on each profile, was circulated to all MPs.

As a possible Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Modi is predictably following an “ideal activity profile,” the highest possible grade, says the report. This grade is shared by only one of his Cabinet colleagues: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. While that takes care of the “demonstrates excellence” category, there are many who occupy the leeward side of the Bell curve.

At least 43 of 71 BJP MPs from Uttar Pradesh are deemed “inactive” on social media, while 10 of 25 from Rajasthan do not have a Twitter account. Several MPs with a decent following are asked to post more about the government’s achievements. Banswara MP Manshankar Ninama has been pulled up for having “no control over [FB] page, [with] random posts by anyone.”

Pat for Gadkari

Roads and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari comes in for some praise. He is an “example of how to run social media, can be a little more interactive” says his appraisal note.

According to sources in the BJP, the appraisal was based solely on the level of activity, over a specific month.

The report has been circulated among the MPs, with a one-page prescription on leveraging social media to “sell” the NDA government.

“Share media coverage about positive developments in constituency in the morning, normally links and E-paper cuttings are effective. MPs can also interact with citizens of their constituencies on Twitter and Facebook,” the report says.

All MPs have been told to download the Narendra Modi app and refer to posts from transformingindia.