In the last few days, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited a number of states in the Northeast and South India in the run up to the 2019 general elections. As predicted, there was a lot of chatter on social media.
Both these visits were met with resistance from the citizens both online and offline.
On Twitter, the hashtags condemning Modi trended all over India, with #GoBackModi topping the list for most part of Sunday, 10 February 2019. PM Modi rallied in three southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Though the aforementioned hashtag was trending in many individual states as well, Andhra Pradesh showed maximum displeasure over PM Modi and his visit.
'Black' banned ahead of Modi visit
Black Balloons, Billboards: Andhra ‘Unwelcomes’ Modi
Apart from the hashtag, black flags were erected all over Guntur where PM Modi was scheduled to speak. A large number of NGOs, students' organisations and workers of parties like Telugu Desam Party and CPI(M) also hit the streets donning black and raising slogans against Modi.
Protesters carrying black flags and placards flashing 'Go Back Modi' were seen on the roads. Similar aggression was visible online in the form of hashtags and pictures of the protests.
#ModiGoBackAndhra was another trendsetting hashtag. Twitter users expressed their anger over a number of issues like unfulfilled promises at the time of bifurcation, demonetisation and GST among others.
In fact, PM Modi had faced similar reactions when he had visited Tamil Nadu in April 2018. Back then too, people had protested on the roads and waved black flags.
However, this time, quite interestingly, Tamil Nadu happened to be the only state that showed some degree of solidarity and welcomed the PM. Hashtags like #TNWelcomesModi trended on social media, albeit briefly.
People in Northeast Resist Modi’s Visit
Before his visit down South, PM Modi had also visited three states in the Northeast: Arunachal Pradesh, followed by Assam and Tripura.
He faced a a lot of resistance in these states, primarily because of the Citizenship Amendment Bill which has been a bone of contention for months now.
The prime minister was greeted with black flags in Assam by protesters and hashtags like #ModiDestroysNorthEast trended in the respective states as well as all over India during his visit.
Priyanka’s Entry Steals the Show in Varanasi Too
PM Modi’s next visit to Varanasi too saw a dip in his online popularity. All the trending hashtags were related to Priyanka Gandhi and none pertained to Modi.
(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)