Kerala lawmakers still coming to grips with social media

Two MLAs do not have email accounts and a former Chief Minister has no mobile number

Use of social media among the newly elected 140 legislators to the 15th Kerala Assembly is only average with two legislators still to have email accounts and a former Chief Minister a mobile number in his name.

Former Deputy Assembly Speaker V. Sasi elected from Chirayinkeezhu constituency and O. S. Ambika elected from adjacent Attingal are the two legislators who do not have email accounts, an assessment of sworn affidavits of the legislators by the political research division of Leaders & Ladders, a management consulting firm, has revealed.

Though the former Chief Minister and Senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy does not have a mobile number in his name, the legislator representing Puthuppally constituency for the record time has his own website, Instagram, Youtube and Facebook account.

While politicians are active on Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and website, legislators are not active in social media at all. The COVID-19 induced lockdown and the just concluded elections had forced many to reach out to the social media to contact the voters and exploit its potential.

Among the 140 legislators, only the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Mr. Chandy have their own website, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter and Facebook account. Thomas K. Thomas, elected from Kuttanad constituency and Minister for Fisheries and Culture Saji Cherian, representing Chengannur, has a website but does not have a Youtube and Twitter account.

A. Prabhakaran representing Malampuzha assembly constituency, K. B. Ganesh Kumar (Pathanapuram) and former Minister Ramachandran Kadannappally do not have Facebook accounts as per affidavits submitted. But, Mr. Ramachandran has a verified Facebook account and Mr. Ganeshkumar has an ‘unverified’ Facebook account. Of the 140 legislators, 137 have Facebook accounts, 64 Instagram and 17 Twitter accounts.

The Chief Minister has the highest number of followers on Facebook. As many as 1,317,257 liked his official Facebook and 1,508,236 are following him. Former Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala is behind with 1,201, 336 likes for his page and 1,210,860 followers. Mr. Chandy has 1,101,856 likes for his Facebook page while former Health Minister K. K. Shailaja, elected from a record margin, has 7,62,495 likes on her page. But, only Mr. Vijayan, Mr. Chandy and Mr. Babu have Youtube accounts.

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