#BBCtrending: The souring of social media star Arvind Kejriwal?

Delhi's Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal talking to journalists at his sit-in on 21 January Image copyright Getty Images

Delhi's Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has built up significant support using Twitter and Facebook - but he's now facing some sharp criticism on social media.

Anti-corruption activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal has a large following on Twitter - more than 1.2 million people at the last count. The party he founded, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), uses social media extensively to organise events and rally support. It has created, for example, a Facebook page for every single constituency in Delhi. Last month, the party did unexpectedly well in Delhi state elections, gaining dozens of seats and propelling Kejriwal to the position of Chief Minister. The AAP has strong support among Delhi's young and middle class - exactly those who are most active online.

But in the last few days, some critical hashtags have been trending on Twitter, notably #QuitAAP and #AAPdrama. Some of this appears to be coming from supporters of rival political parties, but the mainstream media has also been highly critical. The reason? On Monday and Tuesday Arvind Kejriwal held a sit-in street protest in Delhi over control of the police force - effectively running the government from the streets. Metro stations were closed and parts of the city blocked off.

Many on social media said it was time he left his campaigning roots behind him. "He does not know how to govern so the only option left is to protest about every problem under the sun," was one comment on the BBC Hindi Facebook page. There have also been more playful comments - both supportive and sarcastic - poking fun at his whiter-than-white image using the hashtags #YoKejriwalSoHonest and #YoKejriwalSoBrave. "Kejriwal is so honest that no woman has ever asked him 'Do I look fat?'" is one of the jokes doing the rounds on Facebook. "Kejriwal is so honest that he actually rolls on the floor laughing when he texts ROFL," is another.

Social media is expected to play a key role in India's general elections in April or May this year. Although internet penetration is relatively low, according to a recent study the number of people on Facebook in India is almost as big as the population of the UK.

Reporting by Cordelia Hebblethwaite

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