New Delhi, January 10: With the Election Commission of India announcing a ban on physical rallies till January 15 in the five poll bound states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa and Punjab given the rising COVID-19 cases, parties have no option but to rely on digital medium and social media platforms to woo the masses. With first phase of voting to begin from February 10, parties will look to intensify their digital presence to get their message across to the voters. Assembly Elections 2022 Dates And Full Schedule Announced by EC: Voting to Take Place Between Feb 10 And March 7 in UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa; Results on March 10.

With digital presence and campaigning gaining more importance during the pandemic, every party worth its salt is bound to up the battle for supremacy through clicks and views on post. Thus, a look at the Twitter numbers of political parties in the fray can reveal the current standing and influence that the parties can have over voters in the crucial days ahead the election. Let's have a look at the important parties and their Twitter standing at the moment.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is way ahead of other parties when it comes to dominating the virtual or digital world politically. The saffron party has over 15 million (1.5 crore) followers on Twitter and has over 1.5 crore likes on its Facebook page with over 1.6 crore likes for its official page.

Indian National Congress (INC): The Congress Party is the only real national alternative to the BJP despite significant fall in the number of states the party currently controls. But the Congress party lags behind BJP in terms of followers on Twitter. Compared to the BJP's 15 million followers, Congress' official Twitter handle shows that the party has 8.4 million (around 85 lakh) followers compared to BJP's 15 million strong following. On Facebook too, the strength of Congress is half compared to that of the BJP.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP): The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) may not be as old as the Congress or as "grand" as the BJP, but the party does have a strong social media presence. However, given that the party was formed when the digital media was taking shape in India and with youth as the party's target as voters and cadre, the party will look to improve on its tally of around 6 million (5.8 to be precise) followers on Twitter and 1,795,903 likes on its Facebook page.

Samajwadi Party (SP): Akhilesh Yadav has emerged as the challenger-in-chief against BJP in Uttar Pradesh, but with 2.8 million followers on Twitter, the party has a lot of catching up to do against the BJP, irrespective of the national versus regional party difference. The party has 32,17,794 people following its page on Facebook.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP):  For a party with a dedicated cadre and loyal supporters, the tally of around 25,000 followers on Twitter comes as a surprise. The BSP has a lot of catching up to do not just with the national parties but also with other regional ones when it comes to presence and engagement on social media.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 10, 2022 11:19 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website