Hyderabad: Over the last several months, candidates and citizens made Twitter the destination for breaking news and real-time public discussions about the #LokSabhaElections2019.
According to Twitter India officials, the world’s largest and longest democratic election spanned six weeks and culminated in Counting Day when India determined its Prime Minister, Narendra Modi (@NarendraModi), through the election of 534 Members of Parliament across 29 states 7 union territories. The news broke on Twitter through this historic Tweet that received hundreds of thousands of Replies, Retweets and Likes in the span of a few minutes, making it the most Retweeted Tweet of the election:
सबका साथ + सबका विकास + सबका विश्वास = विजयी भारत
Together we grow.
Together we prosper.
Together we will build a strong and inclusive India.
India wins yet again! #VijayiBharat
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 23, 2019
Emphasising the importance of engaging in public dialogue on the platform, Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) conceded the election through this livestream from @INCIndia:
— Congress (@INCIndia) May 23, 2019
Congratulations to @BJP4India & @narendramodi on a decisive victory. The people of India have made their decision & we respect their mandate. We'd like to thank all our workers for their hard work. We wish the new govt the best & look forward to working towards India's future.
— Congress (@INCIndia) May 23, 2019
Twitter served the public conversation and showcased democratic dialogue. The volume of conversation around #LokSabhaElections2019 including Tweets from candidates, political parties, citizens and the news media ensured that from 1 January 2019 till 23 May 2019, Twitter saw more than 396 million Tweets on the platform, nearly a 300% growth from 2014.
3.2 million Tweets were observed on Counting Day itself, with 1/3rd of the Tweets being recorded between 3 and 4pm, at the same hour that Prime Minister Modi Tweeted.
Despite being an election for the Indian Prime Minister, the impact of #LokSabhaElections2019 was felt across the world. Conversations unfolded across the globe, with world leaders, celebrities and Indian diaspora engaging in dialogue about the new government.
Heat Map for Counting Day (GIF from Trendsmap): https://www.trendsmap.com/v/hpTs
Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI), Prime Minister of Pakistan:
I congratulate Prime Minister Modi on the electoral victory of BJP and allies. Look forward to working with him for peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) May 23, 2019
Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu), Prime Minister of Israel:
मेरे दोस्त @narendramodi आपके प्रभावशाली चुनावी जीत पर हार्दिक बधाई! ये चुनावी नतीजे एक बार फिर दुनिया के सबसे बड़े लोकतंत्र में आपके नेतृत्व को साबित करते हैं। हम साथ मिलकर भारत और इज़राइल के बीच घनिष्ट मित्रता को मजबूत करना जारी रखेंगे । बहुत बढ़िया, मेरे दोस्त ?????
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) May 23, 2019
Throughout the campaign period, politicians and political parties used Twitter to communicate with Indian citizens in the country and across the world, while citizens took to the platform to address their queries directly to contesting leaders. @NarendraModi emerged as the most mentioned figure during the entire course of #LokSabhaElections2019, and @BJP4India handle along with the handles of their National Democratic Alliance members took 53% of the mentions on Twitter. The @INCIndia handle along with handles of other members of the United Progressive Alliance received 37% of the mentions. Here are the leaders who were most mentioned on the platform during this election period.
As in any town square, Indians were interested in a variety of different topics of conversation, and took to the service to discuss the issues that mattered most to them through Hashtags, Replies and Retweets.
During the course of the six weeks of the election from 11th April till 19th May, national security emerged as the most talked about election-related topic on Twitter, followed by religion, jobs and employment, agriculture, and finally demonetisation.
With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its lead campaigner Prime Minister Narendra Modi receiving a landslide victory in the #LokSabhaElections2019, celebrities and leaders took to the platform to share their congratulatory messages.
— Saina Nehwal (@NSaina) May 23, 2019
With 67% counted, my lead has crossed 42,000 & I am leading in six of the seven Assembly constituencies in my MP constituency. #TharoorForTvm But sad & disappointed about the national picture.
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) May 23, 2019
लोक सभा चुनाव की प्रभावशाली जीत पर प्रधानमंत्री मोदीजी और पार्टी अध्यक्ष श्री अमित शाह को बहुत बहुत बधाई। एक नए भारत निर्माण के लिए अब आपके पास शक्तिशाली जनादेश है। हम सभी, बड़े उत्साह से असरदार शुरुआती १०० दिनों की उम्मीद करते है। हम सब की शुभकामनाएं आपके साथ हैं।
— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) May 23, 2019
“We respect the mandate given by people. I, on behalf of AAP, congratulate BJP for their victory and also congratulate @narendramodi for becoming PM once again”- @Saurabh_MLAgk pic.twitter.com/Pm7PXLS1LJ
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) May 23, 2019
Respected dear @narendramodi ji
hearty congratulations … You made it !!! God bless.
— Rajinikanth (@rajinikanth) May 23, 2019
Congratulations to Narendra Modi ji for a historic mandate. Today surely belongs to BJP and it’s allies. Time for Congress to get an Amit Shah.
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) May 23, 2019
How was 2019 different from 2014?
Along with a growth in the volume of conversation, 2019 saw a 300% growth over the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the #LokSabhaElections2019 emoji featured hashtags across Indian languages, not just English and Hindi. While English and Hindi remained the dominant languages of conversation, there were a substantial number of tweets in Tamil followed by Gujarati represented by the use of the Twitter Lok Sabha Elections emoji hashtags.