By Varsha Bansal

BENGALURU, India – Indian social media influencer Chandni Bhagat has been creating devotional videos on Instagram for three years – now she’s mixing politics with her daily dose of religion.

Bhagat is one of thousands of social media influencers mobilised by political parties in the runup to elections with the aim of wooing a young and ever-online India.

Last year, 18-year-old Bhagat – who has more than 200,000 Instagram followers – was among 100+ content creators in the central Indian city of Indore invited to meet workers from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Since then, her Instagram grid – dominated by the Hindu Lord Shiva – was punctuated with at least five posts promoting the BJP, one backing its regional women’s health scheme, another showing a smiling selfie with a former minister from the party.

“I attempt to talk about things that will benefit my audience,” said Bhagat.

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