CHANDIGARH: Being the sixth most popular Indian politician on Twitter, Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Chandigarh candidate Gul Panag makes no secrets of her social media insights – speak your heart and engage across party lines.
Having managed to sustain her brand image ever since she first got noticed for her online influence in 2009, the actor-turned-politician admits that one reason why she was chosen by AAP was because of the opinion leader status online. “To determine online influence is not that simple. For instance, the CEO of a company can wield more power than a Bollywood star having many more Twitter followers than him. This is because the fan-base following of the latter may not be those who necessarily want to know his opinions. It depends on the quality of writing. But then there comes a stage, like in case of Narendra Modi, when everyone wants to follow you,” she explains.
“For me, however, it was never intended to achieve a large following. I use Twitter because it allows me to share my interests that go beyond my profession. I am glad that most of my Twitter followers are like-minded people who come up with interesting responses,” she adds.
Recalling her memorable Twitter experiences, she says, “Recently, we almost brought Twitter India down when I launched a hash tag ‘blast from the past’ and began written ad jingles from my growing up years to highlight how times have changed. It was trending worldwide. It brought a smile on my face to share my thoughts with like minded people.”
As per data released in April, Modi had a lead of more than 1.5 million over second- ranked Shashi Tharoor, a Congress leader with 2.13 million followers. Kejriwal (1.62 million) comes third, followed by Manmohan Singh (1.17 million) at fourth, BJP’s Sushma Swaraj in the fifth spot (1.03 million) and beauty queen-turned-politician Gul Panag at sixth (0.83 million) on Twitter.