#GoBackModi trends on Twitter as PM visits TN

#GoBackModi trends on Twitter as PM visits TN

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is yet to land in this temple town for a couple of events but #GoBackModi is already trending on Twitter, the microblogging site which has emerged is the new platform for political parties to fight their ideological war. DH photo/ETB Shivapriyan

#GoBackModi, the hashtag that caught the attention of the social media world in April last year, trended yet again on Sunday. Reason: Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Tamil Nadu to lay foundation stone for AIIMS, inaugurate 12 Passport Seva Kendras and address a public meeting.

#GoBackModi first trended on April 12, 2018 when Modi was in Chennai to inaugurate the Defence Expo and participate in a few other programmes as the way of Tamils’ opposing his visit for his government’s alleged silence and inaction on issues related to the state.

Though Modi visited on Sunday to lay foundation stone for AIIMS, the hashtag began trending on Twitter since Saturday evening. In fact, it was the BJP which began tweeting using #MaduraiThanksModi on Saturday morning and by the end of the day, it seemed to have back-fired since #GoBackModi began trending.

One cartoon depicting Periyar, the late social reformer, asking Modi to go back and the Prime Minister scrambling to board a chopper was shared by several Twitter users.

A few hours before Modi landed in Madurai, at around 9 am, more than 2 lakh Twitter handles had tweeted using #GoBackModi and the trending was aided by those belonging to the DMK and Congress. Majority of the posts using the hashtag targeted Modi for not visiting Tamil Nadu when it was hit by Cyclone Gaja, the BJP’s inaction on Cauvery and NEET issues and imposition of Hindi.

The new went up to 4 lakh tweets by Sunday afternoon, though the hashtags trended by BJP could only reach around 2 lakh tweets.  

But the major difference between April last year and today was that the BJP’s social media machinery was also giving tough time to #GoBackModi by trending their own hashtags -- #TNWelcomesModi and #MaduraiThanksModi.

The Prime Minister did not face opposition just on the social media, but also on the ground. Scores of MDMK cadre led by its chief Vaiko protested against Modi’s by showing flags but were taken into custody by the police. In April, a few organisations also let out balloons in the air opposing Modi’s visit to Tamil Nadu.