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PM Modi's plan to 'give up' social media accounts: How internet reacted?

The post garnered thousands of likes and retweets within just a few minutes

BS Web Team & Agencies  |  New Delhi 

Narendra Modi
PM Narendra Modi on March 2 said he was considering quitting social media. Photo: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, one of the forces behind the mainstreaming of use for political communication, on Monday took the internet by a storm when he hinted he might give up his accounts on Sunday.

In a post at around 9 pm, Modi said: “This Sunday, thinking of giving up my accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube. Will keep you all posted.”

The post garnered thousands of likes and retweets within minutes. Union Ministers Smriti Irani, Hardeep Puri and Anurag Thakur and BJP IT Cell head Amit Malviya were among those who retweeted Modi's surprise tweet to exit social media platforms.

Following the post, #NoSir became the number 1 trending hashtag on

The internet was filled with speculations. From the conjecture that the PM might be planning to switch to an Indian platform to the possibility that he might be hurt over social media's role in stoking Delhi riots — the guessing game continued until late night.

Amruta Fadnavis, wife of former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, declared she would follow in PM Modi's footsteps and quit social media. "Sometimes it's the smallest decision that can change our life forever! I will follow the path of my leader!!," tweeted Amruta Fadnavis.

Fadnavis was not alone. The list of people pledging to follow the prime minister and leave social media grew gradually and hashtags like #iwillalsoleavetwitter and #NoModiNoTwitter also trended highly on in India.

However, the PM's post also drew strong reactions from the Congress party and several Opposition leaders. replied to Modi’s post, tweeting: “Give up hatred, not social media accounts.”

Reacting to PM's tweet, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said he wished the Prime Minister would give the same piece of advice to the social media trolls who intimidated others in his name.

"Respected Modi ji, Earnestly wish you would give this advice to the concerted army of trolls who abuse-intimidate-badger-threaten others every second in your name! Sincere Regards, Citizens of India," tweeted Surjewala

Modi's "ploy" of leaving social media is to divert the attention of the nation from burning issues, said Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party leader took a dig at PM Modi with his tweet, saying, "Thinking of closing the path of social dialogue is not a good thing. There are other more meaningful things to leave."

With 53.3 million followers on Twitter, 35.2 million on Instagram, 4.51 million on YouTube and 44.73 million on Facebook, Modi is one of the most popular world leaders on social media. Modi is only the third world leader to have more than 50 million followers on Twitter. The first two are former US President Barack Obama and present US President Donald Trump.

First Published: Tue, March 03 2020. 08:39 IST