With the shrunken economy, students demanding postponement of JEE and NEET, and India’s achievement of becoming the first and only country in the world to have a rampant spike of 80,000 COVID-19 cases in a single day, the BJP (India’s ruling party) have their hands full.

But instead, they are busy worrying about the number of dislikes on the latest episode of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s August 30 ‘Mann Ki Baat’.

The recently aired episode has garnered over 9.1 lakh dislikes at the time of writing this story against less than 1.9 lakh likes out of nearly 4 million views.

PM’s latest “Mann ki Baat” show became one of the most “disliked” videos on the party’s official YouTube channel

Congress and AAP party supporters are swearing that these ‘dislikes’ are due to the government’s decision to conduct the JEE and NEET exams amidst the global coronavirus pandemic. The majority of the criticism was because of the ongoing protests against the Modi government’s decision. 

Hashtags like “#Students_Dislike_PM_Modi” and “#Mann_ki_Nahi_Students_Ki_Baat” were also trending on Twitter just after the episode aired. 

However, the BJP has conspired that this enormous number of dislikes is an orchestration of a digital campaign by political rivals on the JEE-NEET exam issue.

But experts who study social media say that this difference between likes and dislikes symbolizes the gap between what citizens want the PM to discuss and what the PM chooses to address.

What happened?

In his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on Sunday, August 30, PM Narendra Modi spoke about farmers, toys and the need to adopt indigenous pet breeds apt for the Indian environment. He completely disregarded the JEE-NEET matter which impacts millions of students.

According to a report by ThePrint, BJP national spokesperson Dr. Bizay Sonkar Shastri said, “The whole country knows the kind of love students have for the Prime Minister. Whatever dislikes are appearing on YouTube have been instigated by the Congress party”.

BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya tweets about Congress relation with Turkish bots

Amit Malviya, in-charge of BJP IT, tweeted to say that international bots were employed to ‘dislike’ the live stream. He said that there has been a continuous effort by the Congress party to dislike PM Modi’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ video on YouTube thus spreading hate. He also cited YouTube data to claim that only 2 per cent of those dislikes are from India. 

Read More: Demystifying The Big Crisis Brewing In Congress Right Now And What Might Happen Next

Malviya accused the Congress Party of having used many Turkey-based accounts to tweet against the issue and using those bot accounts as the consistent feature of their anti-JEE-NEET campaign. He even posted links to some Twitter handles from Turkey as evidence.

Bot account from Turkey retweeting tweets on JEE-NEET examinations
Another Turkey bot account on Twitter sharing information on the JEE-NEET controversy
Turkish bot account commenting on the latest JEE-NEET issue

Conspicuously, there have been a lot of torrent tweets that have been posted on Twitter against the government’s decision of conducting the JEE-NEET examinations.

Apparently, most of these handles have Turkey listed under their location and are newly created accounts. These Twitter accounts have been extensively tweeting opinions and information that are in compliance with the Congress’s agenda. 

Congress’ history with international bots for social media popularity

Congress has been accused of recruiting international bots, especially from Turkey in the past too.

Earlier in 2017, it was rumoured that Rahul Gandhi’s increased popularity on Twitter was because of many foreign bots from Russia, Kazakh and Indonesia, thus giving a fallacious impression of gaining popularity organically.

Interestingly, after an investigation, it was discovered that Rahul Gandhi’s tweets were retweeted by handles with less than 10 followers, who also tweeted random subjects from around the world.

BJP and Facebook corrupted nexus

CPI(M) alleges ‘Facebook-BJP nexus’

But BJP is also not so innocent. Recently, as exposed by the Wall Street Journal, the largest social media platform, Facebook, intentionally shut their eyes towards BJP leaders who violated its hate speech rules. The CPI(M) has accused the party of having a “nexus” with the social media company.

Asking for an immediate and meticulous interrogation into the “nexus” between Facebook-WhatsApp-Instagram and the BJP, the left party stated that it is time to take severe actions, recommending active mechanisms for blocking these platforms from promoting communal hatred.

Even under the latest ‘Mann ki Baat’ video, the viewers were accusing YouTube India of removing the number of dislikes and criticising comments on the video.

Image Sources: Google Images

Sources: India Today, News Click, The Print

Find Blogger: @aditi_21gupta

This post is tagged under: Narendra Modi, Mann ki Baat, BJP, Congress, Twitter, JEE, NEET, students, #Students_Dislike_PM_Modi, #Mann_ki_Nahi_Students_Ki_Baat, dislikes, Dr. Bizay Sonkar Shastri, Amit Malviya, BJP IT Cell, Congress IT Cell, Turkey bot, Wall Street Journal, Facebook, hate speech rules, hate speech rules violated, CPI(M), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Bharatiya Janata Party, nexus, Facebook-WhatsApp-Instagram-BJP nexus, social media platform, Youtube India, Youtube, India, Indian students, entrance exams, Indian, education, exams, Rahul Gandhi

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