NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a prolific social media user, tagged Bollywood stars, politicians, sportsmen, journalists in a series of tweets on Wednesday urging them to help increase voter turnout on polling days.
In 29 rapid-fire tweets early on Wednesday morning, Modi tagged Bollywood stars, cricketers, a news anchor as well as Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee and Bahujan Samaj Party Chief Mayawati, according to reports.
“I appeal to encourage increased voter participation in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. A high turnout augurs well for our democratic fabric,” he said.
The Indian PM also urged the superstars of Bollywood Amitabh Bachan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan to “creatively ensure high voter awareness and participation” in the coming election.
In his tweet to the opposition leaders, Modi, who has 46.3 million followers on Twitter, said, “A high turnout augurs well for our democratic fabric.”
I appeal to @RahulGandhi, @MamataOfficial, @PawarSpeaks, @Mayawati, @yadavakhilesh, @yadavtejashwi and @mkstalin to encourage increased voter participation in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. A high turnout augurs well for our democratic fabric.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 13, 2019
Calling ‘Gully Boy’ stars Ranveer Singh, Varun Dhawan, and Vicky Kaushal his friends, Modi said “many youngsters admire you” and “It is time to tell them: Apna Time Aa Gaya Hai and that it is time to turn up with high Josh to a voting centre near you”.
Despite remaining popular, Modi faces a challenge to repeat the 2014 feat when India’s 900 million voters cast ballots between April 11 and May 19.
The opposition says Modi’s flagship policies have failed to produce promised jobs, while thousands of debt-ridden farmers have committed suicide in recent years.
His party, however, seems to have gained ground after India launched air strikes on Pakistan last month in response to a suicide bombing that killed 40 Indian troops in Pulwama.
The recent face-off with Pakistan marked a peak in the war of words between the ruling party and its detractors, with opposition leaders accusing Modi’s government of mishandling the country’s internal security.