Amid the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal, Modi says MPs should reconsider being in politics if they can’t connect with this many people on social media.

New Delhi: Even as Facebook is caught in a political storm over the Cambridge Analytica data leak, for allegedly compromising the personal data of its users, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s love for social media is still shining through.

Speaking at the BJP’s parliamentary party meeting Friday, Modi is said to have directed his MPs to increase their social media following to at least three lakh each, or their tickets to next year’s general elections may be in jeopardy.

Sources who attended the dinner meeting at the party’s new headquarters on Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg in the capital said the PM gave the MPs a list of criterion to fulfil within a stipulated amount of time, and at the top of the list was the social media demand. He also warned that the followers should not be fake.

“The PM made it clear that MPs need to have at least three lakh followers on their social media – he said if they can’t connect with this many people, they need to rethink what they’re doing,” said the source. “It will have a bearing on the ticket distribution for the 2019 elections.”

Narendra Modi app

The MPs were also given a presentation about the Narendra Modi app. Those present were asked to learn how to use the app and use it to reach out to the beneficiaries of government schemes and to the voters. “The app features details of the government schemes and their impact as well. Voters can benefit only when they know that schemes exist,” the source stated.

Live in a slum

Bearing in mind the elections, the PM has asked MPs to chalk out a plan of staying in a slum (basti) with a population of more than 5,000. They have to earmark almost all such slums in their constituencies within four months.

“MLAs will stay the night in bastis with populations under 2,500 people, while councillors will fulfil this responsibility in bastis with less than 2,000 people,” the source said.

Every MP should have 2,000 workers as cadre ready for any work, the PM reportedly said.

Dalit outreach

MPs have been directed to organise various programmes between 11 April and 5 May in their constituencies, and one special session on Ambedkar Jayanti (14 April) to mark four years of the Modi government and its various schemes.

“The MPs will celebrate the birth anniversary of social reformer Jyotirao Phule on 11 April. After that, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan will be celebrated on 18 April, the Ujjwala scheme on 20 April. Panchayati Raj Diwas will be next on 24 April, followed by Gram Swabhimaan Diwas (28 April), Swastha Bharat Diwas (30 April), Kisan Kalyan Diwas (2 May). There will be a final ‘convocation ceremony’ of sorts, a culmination event, on 5 May,” the source said.

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