Will Twitter Be the Kingmaker of 2019 Lok Sabha Elections?
Country - India; Parties Considered - the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the two major national political parties; Time period considered - Feb 1, 2019 to Feb 10, 2019. Research questions. The research was intended to find answer for the following questions: 1. Which political party uses Twitter extensively? 2. What were the major issues discussed by political parties in Twitter? 3. Were the issues tweeted by political parties and politicians reflect the ground situation? 4. What was the most prevalent sentiment in the Tweets made by political parties? Findings: Results show that the BJP has a stronger twitter base and uses twitter extensively to connect with its followers when compared to the INC. The topics discussed by the both the parties encompassed a wide range of issues and schemes ranging from agriculture to national security. The issues and schemes raised by the INC is seen to have more resonance among people than the issues and schemes raised by the BJP i.e., the schemes and issues raised by the INC appeared to be more relevant and impactful on people’s lives than the ones raised by the BJP. Despite the BJP enjoying a stronger follower base in Twitter alongside with its extensive usage of Twitter to connect and interact with its followers when compared to the INC it seems to be trailing behind the INC in the race to 2019 assembly elections as there is almost a 30% gap between it and the INC when it comes to the resonance enjoyed by the issues and schemes proposed by them which at the end of the day would prove instrumental in determining people’s electoral preferences. So, based on the analysis of the data collected in this study the INC seems to have a clear edge over the BJP in forming the next government at the centre. Neutral sentiment was found to be the most prevalent sentiment in the tweets posted by the both the parties overall but since neutral sentiments are assigned a sentiment score of 0, they don’t affect the cumulative sentiment of all the tweets analysed which was found to be negative in both the cases of the BJP as well as the INC.