You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Siddaramaiah launches personal Twitter handle ahead of 2018 Karnataka assembly polls

LiveMint logoLiveMint 17-08-2017 Sharan Poovanna

Bengaluru: Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday launched his personal Twitter handle (@siddaramaiah) in order to connect with the urban, tech-savvy population of the state.

He announced the launch of the handle in a video message, saying he would like to “increase his interactions in a more personal and intimate manner” with those who are active on the microblogging site.

“I invite you all to connect with me here, as I reach out to you today not as your CM, but as Siddaramaiah—a rooted and proud Kannadiga,” he said in one of his first tweets.

Although Siddaramaiah created the handle in the last week of July, the account was launched on Thursday with the video message, an official at the chief minister’s office said, requesting not to be named.

“Believer in equity & social justice | Family man | Chief Minister of Karnataka,” his profile states.

At last count, Siddaramaiah had tweeted seven times and drawn 4,049 followers on his personal handle. He follows 19 accounts including those of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his office, the official handle of the Indian National Congress, its vice-president Rahul Gandhi, and Karnataka cabinet colleagues.

The Congress, criticized for its lack of digital outreach before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, is leaving nothing to chance ahead of the 2018 Karnataka assembly elections.

The chief minister launched the personal Twitter handle after users slammed him for using his official handle, (@CMofKarnataka), to make political comments or criticize opponents.

Both his personal and official accounts, however, will be handled by the same team, the official at the chief minister’s office cited above said.

“The intent is to outlast the regime,” Karthik Srinivasan, head, social media practice at Ogilvy & Mather (India), a communication agency, said. He added that the personal handle will help build a bigger following which in turn would enable the chief minister bypass the bureaucracy and go straight to the people.

Siddaramaiah has always had a modern outlook and been keen to use whatever technology is available to connect with the audience, says Narendar Pani, political analyst and professor at the School of Social Sciences, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS).

The chief minister is known more for his socialist, pro-farmer/rural and pro-backward class views. The personal handle would allow him to reach out to the urban, tech-savvy voter, experts said.

More From LiveMint

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon