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Smriti Irani, Rahul Gandhi and the tale of Twitter bots

Smriti Irani, Rahul Gandhi and the tale of Twitter bots”

However, news agency ANI's report claims that Twitter handles retweeting the Congress vice president's tweets could be "automated bots".

Alpesh Thakor, the leader of OBC, SC and ST (OSS) Ekta Manch, will formally join the Congress at a mega rally in Gandhinagar in presence of Rahul Gandhi on Monday, just days before the Gandhi scion would take over the party reins.

The report which has pointed out that there might be bots behind Rahul Gandhi's twitter popularity was shared by Smriti Irani who questioned the authenticity of his followers.

"Perhaps @OfficeOfRG planning to sweep polls in Russia, Indonesia & Kazakhstan??" The tweet quickly reached 20,000 retweets and touched 30,000 at the time of filing this report.

As on Friday, Gandhi has 3.81 million followers and 3,352 tweets. Irani's comment came after Rahul Gandhi took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for remaining silent on the alleged corruption case against BJP President Amit Shah's son, Jay Shah. A closer inspection of the Twitter accounts showed they had less than 10 followers and retweeted random subjects from around the world, including those of Rahul Gandhi.

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When asked about this apparent inorganic spike Divya Spandana/ Ramya, the new Congress chief of Social Media and Digital communications told the agency, "On Twitter one tweets and what happens after that is not in our control".

Irani also retweeted the reactions of other netizens, including Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar who tweeted, "Desperate times call for desperate measures?". Singh said these issues were raised by Rahul on Twitter, and "who is tweeting it and retweeting it... those are side issues".

ANI credited the "resurgence" of Rahul Gandhi on social media to a news report claiming that the Congress had roped in Big Data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica for a more targeted digital campaign to woo voters. "Can understand your eagerness to please the I&B ministry and the Bots Janata Party", Divya tweeted. "The real issue is why is every minister jumping on Rahul Gandhi but silent on the questions that he is raising... they are not about Russian Federation or Kazhakhstan but about the issues faced by every Indian".

BJP's Amit Malviya, in-charge of the party's national Information and Technology, tweeted saying: "Rahul Gandhi should have known that popularity can't be bought, certainly not from Russia, Kazakhstan".



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