PM Modi’s Twitter analysis reveals Covid-19 a lesser concern than elections, politics

An analysis of Modi tweets done by Junaid Khan and published at Tableau Public.

An analysis of PM Modi’s tweets since May 2020 reveals that “during April 2021 when Covid-19 cases were at its peak, Modi’s tweets were targeted to Mamata Banerjee.” The tweet analysis report also reveals that #Mannkibaat is the most used hashtag by Modi since 2015, while he tweeted about oxygen only 7 times in April and May.

Shadab Farooq |

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NEW DELHI – At a time when people in India were gasping for oxygen and crying for hospital beds amid the deadly second wave of Covid-19 – a period which claimed 40 per cent of India’s total deaths due to coronavirus, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Twitter analysis during the period shows that apart from Covid-19, his tweets were directed to West Bengal Elections, particularly targeted to its Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, while he tweeted about oxygen 7 times in April and May.

An analysis of PM Modi’s tweet since May 2020 done by Junaid Khan, who is a data analyst and published at Tableau Public, a free platform to publicly share and explore data visualizations online, reveals that “during April 2021 when Covid-19 cases were at its peak, Modi’s tweets were targeted to Mamata Banerjee.” 

“From stats, we can see 30 tweets of Modi ji were focused on Covid whereas 27 tweets were about Mamata Banerjee or West Bengal,” the tweet analysis revels.

Modi’s tweet analysis reveals that #Mannkibaat is the most used hashtag by Modi since 2015.

Khan has done the analysis based on tweets made by Prime Minister Modi from January 2021. As part of his methodology, Khan has analyzed the tweeting pattern of Modi and calculated the use of hashtags, their frequency and compared it with the most pressing issues of the time. By following this methodology, the analysis provides a quantitative data on the number of times Modi tweeted on an issue of public concern and thereby arriving at the conclusion of what issues did the Prime Minister of India thought important or less important.

Covid-19 second wave and Modi tweets
With 15, 767, 015 new cases and 165, 308 new deaths in India, the second wave of Covi-19 peaked in April-May 2021. The Kumbh Mela, also known as the Pitcher Festival, was taking place at the same time as elections in four major Indian states of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Amid a massive increase of Covid-19 cases in India, these gatherings were accused of being super spreader events. By the end of May, India had 281,75044 active cases and 331,895 deaths, with the unreported number perhaps three times higher.

Due to a lack of oxygen, a dearth of medicines, and a paucity of hospital beds, the country’s medical system collapsed. While people were tweeting for #covidhelp, #plasmarequired, and #urgentoxygenneeded, Narendra Modi’s Twitter account only mentioned oxygen four times in April and four times in May. 

The Covid-19 disaster during India’s second wave was caused by more than just a lack of hospital beds or oxygen tanks. The state of damaged infrastructure was exacerbated by dysfunctional politics, management systems, and failed leadership. 

The tweet analysis published by Tableau Public reveals that Modi tweeted 27 times on Mamata/Didi during the West Bengal Assembly elections in April 2021, when India’s people were gasping for breath. 

According to Modi’s tweet analysis from April 2021 when the Covid-19 deaths were at their highest, Modi’s tweeted 30 tweets about Covid-19, followed by 27 tweets on Mamata Banerjee and the West Bengal Elections. 

Mamata Banerjee appeared to be a major roadblock in Modi’s extension of the saffron flag, and she proved it. When the voting began in May, and the TMC won by a large margin, Modi simply sent one tweet, congratulating Mamata Banerjee on her appointment as Chief Minister. There was no other tweet after the election about Mamata Banerjee. 

Modi’s vaccine program hid the reality
Although Modi and his government machinery made big claims about India’s vaccination program reaching far and wide to its vast population, the healthcare situation of the country due to a raging pandemic showed otherwise. 

“On the 16th of January, India’s nationwide vaccination drive begins,” Modi tweeted on January 9, 2021. “Priority will be given to doctors and frontline workers,” he added. In January, there were 11 vaccination-related tweets, 0 in February, and 2 in March.

While Modi’s tweet claimed to prioritize doctors and frontline workers, in a report, the Indian Medical Association said that 798 doctors died during the second wave of Covid-19 across the country of which a maximum of 128 doctors lost their lives in Delhi, followed by Bihar at 115. Modi’s tweet analysis shows that in April and May 2021, there are only two vaccination tweets by Modi – one in April and one in May.

The tweet analysis further reveals that Modi used the hashtag #Mannkibaat 127 times on Twitter. On All India Radio, DD National, and DD News, Narendra Modi hosts Mann Ki Baat, a radio show in which he addresses the people of India. There have been 77 episodes since the first one on October 3, 2014. On May 30, 2021, the 77th episode aired. 

After #Mannkibaat tweets, #aatmanirbharvendor has 13 tweets, #largestvaccinedrive has 10 tweets, and #gujaratgrowthstory has 6 tweets, the tweet analysis report reveals. 

No impact of criticism
While social media users criticized Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for speaking to tens of thousands of people at state election rallies and allowing Hindu devotees to gather for a festival in response to the rising number of coronavirus infections, it had little impact on Modi’s apparent public concerns. 

As desperate demands for hospital beds, medical oxygen, and coronavirus tests inundated social media, hashtags like #ResignModi and #SuperSpreaderModi were trending on Twitter. Despite the trending hashtags, Modi and his tweets were more focused on Mamata Banerjee and the West Bengal Elections, thus revealing the priorities of this government.