From Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his rival Rahul Gandhi — A look at the top 10 Indian Twitter accounts that made 2018 interesting
2018 was a big year for politics on social media. From trading barbs to political mudslinging — it is safe to say 2018 was a year of agenda, propaganda and umpteen controversies. Opinions, debates, social campaigns kept our timelines kicking.
It was also a year where we lost some of our top politicians, including former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, DMK chief Karunanidhi and Somnath Chatterjee. Their contributions and controversies also made their way to
Here are the 10 most talked-about Indian accounts on Twitter. More power to hashtags!
Followers: 44.7 million
With elections being an intrinsic part of public and political discourse Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s Twitter account was the most popular account in 2018. His social commentary, foreign trips, photo-ops with heads of different countries made it to top Twitter conversations as well. This is the top retweeted tweet of the year from the account:
मैं नि:शब्द हूं, शून्य में हूं, लेकिन भावनाओं का ज्वार उमड़ रहा है।— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 16, 2018
हम सभी के श्रद्धेय अटल जी हमारे बीच नहीं रहे। अपने जीवन का प्रत्येक पल उन्होंने राष्ट्र को समर्पित कर दिया था। उनका जाना, एक युग का अंत है।
Followers: 8.09 million
While Virat Kohli, captain of the Indian cricket team, accepted fitness challenge from sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, he also nominated PM Narendra Modi for the challenge. As sarcastic as it may seem, Rahul Gandhi, President, Indian National Congress (INC), challenged Modi to reduce fuel prices.
Here is his most retweeted tweet:
Dear PM,— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 24, 2018
Glad to see you accept the @imVkohli fitness challenge. Here’s one from me:
Reduce Fuel prices or the Congress will do a nationwide agitation and force you to do so.
I look forward to your response.#FuelChallenge
Amit Shah (@AmitShah)
Followers: 12.1 million
With three state elections debacle and a mammoth general election in the offing, BJP Amit Shah was a huge search with tweeples. Amid the political debates on last year’s Karnataka election, President of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Amit Shah, tweeted on the outcome of elections making it the most retweeted tweet from the account.
Who has the people’s mandate in Karnataka?— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) May 17, 2018
The BJP, which has won 104 seats.
Congress which dropped to 78 seats, whose own CM and Ministers lost by big margins.
JD(S) who won only 37 seats and lost their deposits on several others.
People are wise to realise.
Followers: 3.15 million
The Uttar Pradesh chief minister,Yogi Adityanath has been in controversy ever-since he was elected to the top seat in India’s most populous state. Mr Adityanath faced flak for changing the names of prominent Indian cities. The rationale was bizzare for some, while some seemed to nod in agreement. This led to a mini war-of-words across social platforms.
नाथ परम्परा के अनुसार हवन अष्टमी में सायं के समय होता है, आज सायं से अष्टमी लगने के कारण गौरी गणेश पूजन, स्थापित माँ दुर्गा की विधिवत पूजन माँ दुर्गा सप्तशती के पाठ एवं वैदिक मंत्रों के साथ हवन संपन्न हुआ। pic.twitter.com/8YZZ3yp8rj— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) October 16, 2018
Followers: 14.2 million
To help those affected by the Kerala floods that resulted in the death of over 483 people, Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal had said that he would donate a month’s salary, including that of his lawmakers to the relief fund for the victims. This comment went viral on Twitter and was his most retweeted tweet through the year.
All AAP MLAs, MPs and ministers donating one month salary for Kerala— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) August 18, 2018
Pawan Kalyan (@PawanKalyan)
Followers: 3.4 million
Potentially criticising for abuse and making business out of profanity, Pawan Kalyan, an Indian film actor tweeted to boycott certain news channels. The statement was his most retweeted tweet.
Boycott TV9, TV5, ABN for abusing our Mothers,Daughters & Sisters— Pawan Kalyan (@PawanKalyan) April 20, 2018
And also we have to boycott them for making business out of nudity & profanity.Making business out of a helpless sister ..
Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk)
Followers: 37 million
“Hug from the Thug....!! Beat that!”, said Bollywood’s popular actor Shah Rukh Khan in a tweet that shared a picture of the two B-town celebs ( Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan) hugging. The tweet was his most retweeted tweet.
Hug from the Thug....!! Beat that! pic.twitter.com/4h0LD0qq1g— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) November 1, 2018
Followers: 1.9 million
Tamil actor and playback singer, Vijay, got loads of attraction from Indian viewers towards the end of the year 2018 for his Tamil film ‘Sarkar’. The movie has been making massive gains worldwide, winning appreciation. The tweet sharing his movie’s ‘second look’ was the most retweeted so far.
Mahesh Babu (@urstrulyMahesh)
Followers: 7.22 million
Mahesh Babu is one of the biggest actors of the Telugu film industry. In 2018, he delivered his career-best performance in the Telugu blockbuster ‘Bharat Ane Nenu’. He was a rage on Twitter and #BharatAneNenu was one of the top hashtags of 2018.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj)
Followers: 5 million
Talking of controversies, one cannot ignore the Vyapam Scam that has its roots in India’s central Madhya Pradesh, with its former chief minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan at the epicentre of it. The Vyapam scam was an entrance examination, admission and recruitment scam that was unearthed in Madhya Pradesh in 2013. Recently, in an election shocker, Chouhan was upseated from the state in the assembly election results — after serving three consecutive terms. He was gracious in defeat and even joined his opponents onstage as they took the baton from him to serve Madhya Pradesh.
‘मेड इन मध्यप्रदेश’ मोबाइल, ‘मेड इन चित्रकूट’ मोबाइल, BHEL के मोबाइल, पता नहीं राहुलजी और कहाँ-कहाँ मोबाइल बनाने की फ़ैक्टरी लगाने वाले है! राहुलजी आज भले कुछ भी बोल रहें हैं, पर सच्चाई ये है कि पिछले 70 सालों में ‘मेड इन अमेठी’ लिखा हुआ ‘पतली पिन का चार्जर’ भी नहीं बना पाए!— ShivrajSingh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) September 28, 2018