Prime Minister Narendra Modi has featured on the list of TIME magazine's list of most influential people on the Internet the second time in a row. The list, released Wednesday, called the Indian prime minister an "Internet star."
The blurb on Modi in the magazine also says he uses social media to "break news and conduct diplomacy." The magazine cited Modi's surprise visit to Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on his 66th birthday in Lahore as an example. However, it also mentioned the faux pas he made in wishing Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani for his birthday on the wrong date.
Modi has 18 million Twitter followers and 32 million likes on his Facebook page, TIME said.
This is the second year the magazine has brought out a list of people who were influential on the Internet. The unranked list also features global stars like Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, JK Rowling and Cristiano Ronaldo. It also features U.S. Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Modi is known for encouraging use of Internet and social media for governance. His Digital India initiative highlights the use of Internet for interaction between the government and society. It also attempts to connect billions of Indian citizens to the internet to facilitate information dissemination and education, according to Modi's official website.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, during his election campaign in 2014, had used holograms and video conferencing to address rallies and news debates.
Now, BJP chief Amit Shah has reportedly told the party's ticket hopefuls for the 2016 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections their social media presence would determine their suitability for contesting. They have been told to bring in at least 25,000 likes or followers each on Twitter or Facebook, the Times of India reported.