Bharatiya Janata Party Information Technology Cell (commonly known as BJP IT Cell or BJP Social Media Cell) is a department of the Indian political party BJP that manages social media campaigns for the party and its members.[1][2][3][4] Amit Malviya is the incharge of BJP IT Cell from 2015.[5]


Bharatiya Janata Party was the first political party in India to acknowledge and use the power of social media in mobilizing public opinion. The X account for BJP leader Narendra Modi (then Chief Minister of Gujarat) was created in 2009. In contrast the X account of senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was made in 2015.[6]


BJP orchestrates online campaigns through its social media cell to intimidate perceived government critics. Sadhavi Khosla, a BJP cyber-volunteer in the BJP IT Cell said that the organization disseminated misogyny, Islamophobia and hatred. The network of volunteers of BJP take instructions from BJP IT Cell and two affiliated organisations to troll users who are critical of BJP. Journalists and Indian film actors are also among their targets.[6]

In November 2015, a Muslim film actor from India, Aamir Khan expressed concern about rising intolerance in India[7] in response to political events in India that included violent attacks against Muslims and intellectuals, and the absence of swift or strong condemnation from the country's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Modi government.[8] Khosla said that BJP responded with an online campaigns through its social media cell to intimidate Khan.[6] Khan advertised for Snapdeal. Modi supporters bombarded the company with orders and later cancelled them. The campaign led to Snapdeal dropping Khan for its advertisement.[9]

Derek O'Brien, a member of Parliament had raised the topic of online hate in Rajya Sabha, India's upper house. He had questioned why Narendra Modi followed cyber-bullies on social media, and said "We are mainstreaming hate". He also asked if Modi administration would issue advisory asking government officials to stop following Twitter users that regularly send abusive messages and obscenities. The government did not respond to this request.[6]

In December 2020, Twitter took restrictive action against Amit Malviya, IT Cell in charge, and tagged his post as 'manipulated media'. This was the first time Twitter took restrictive action against an Indian political personality. Malviya had posted an edited video of an incident from 2020–2021 Indian farmers' protest that violated Twitter policy towards fighting the spread of doctored media.[5]

According to Al Jazeera, during the 2023 Israel–Hamas war, the BJP IT Cell was partly responsible for spreading disinformation surrounding the conflict, and said to be a source of Islamophobic and anti-Palestinian content.[10]



  1. ^ "BJP turns focus on UP IT cell, lays out strategy to boost social media presence for polls". ThePrint. 21 October 2021. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  2. ^ "BJP's IT cell works behind doors for its candidates who are on the front". The Indian Express. 10 December 2021. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  3. ^ "BJP Departments". Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  4. ^ "I am a troll: Inside the secret world of the BJP's digital army- Review". Free Press Journal. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
  5. ^ a b "For the First Time in India, Twitter Flags BJP IT Cell's 'Manipulated Media'". The Wire. 2 December 2020. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d "'I Am a Troll' by Swati Chaturvedi". Financial Times. 20 February 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
  7. ^ Sugden, Joanna (24 November 2015). "The Intolerant Response to Aamir Khan's Intolerance Comments". WSJ Blogs. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  8. ^ Iyengar, Rishi. "Bollywood Star Aamir Khan Faces Religious Backlash". Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  9. ^ "Aamir Khan took on religious intolerance, and Snapdeal got caught in the crossfire". Quartz. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  10. ^ Owen Jones, Marc (16 October 2023). "Analysis: Why is so much anti-Palestinian disinformation coming from India?". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 16 October 2023.

Further reading