New Delhi: The huge nationwide uproar over the alleged gang-rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit girl in Hathras and the subsequent Congress demand for justice and support to her family generated a lot of social media traction for party leader Rahul Gandhi even as other Congress leaders and workers kept up the pressure on the Uttar Pradesh government in the virtual world.
The social media response to Rahul Gandhi crossed that of many other Indian politicians as the death of the victim on September 29 and her hurried cremation on September 30 by the Hathras police stoked public anger.
The Congress ratcheted up the pressure after Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were initially prevented from visiting Hathras to meet the victim’s family and were even detained on October 1.
On Wednesday too, Congress leaders continued to raise the issue on various platforms, with the party’s women leaders Rajni Patil, Supriya Shrinate and Sushmita Dev even addressing the media in Lucknow on the issue.
Sources at Rahul Gandhi’s office claimed that from September 25 to October 2, live videos and pictures when Rahul Gandhi was not allowed to visit Hathras got phenomenal response, eliciting 4,87,45,354 views/likes/comments. Live engagements totalled more than 1,06,97,008 while video viewship was 1,89,89,400. Two of the video clips were shot by Rahul Gandhi himself for his social media pages.
Sources in the Congress social media department said that from September 25 to October 2, Rahul Gandhi’s Facebook page’s engagement clocked 11.5 million users and the party’s 3.4 million users.
Rahul and Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, along with three other party leaders were finally allowed to meet the victim’s family on October 3.
During the said period, Rahul Gandhi’s FB page views increased 712 per cent, page likes 1,130 per cent, posts 524 per cent, post engagement 752 per cent, video views 5,355 per cent, and page followers 1,449 per cent.
The Congress leader has 3.5 million followers on Facebook, 16.4 million on Twitter, and 1.1 million on Instagram.
“His fight is touching a chord with the masses,” said one of his close aides.
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