Not only did he try to please the masses, he also subtly began referring to his religious leanings. “Modi cleverly used religion intertwined with filial piety as he referred to the River Ganges as his mother,” the study said.

He spoke about his mother, shared pictures with her. Then came the #SelfieWithModi campaign. People took selfies showing the black ink mark on their finger—a sign that they voted in the elections in May 2014—and used the hashtag to post these pictures.

Leading India

Post elections, which he won by a overwhelming margin, Modi has mostly used his Twitter handle to greet and send out generic messages, which the study says is “much in the style of a benign ruler as opposed to the issue-based political tweets.” Since election, every tweet of his has been retweeted and favourited by at least 1,000 times.

But, as the study noted:

The re-imagination of Modi through social media is all the more important because of his near-total lack of contact, as Prime Minister, with traditional news media. Outside of prepared speeches at major events, what we see of Modi on social media is almost all we see of him. And yet, Modi comes across as the most interactive Prime Minister the country has ever had.

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