Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday evening said he is considering "giving up" his social media accounts, prompting thousands of appeals to him to stay but getting a cold response from the Congress party.
Modi, with roughly 50 million followers on Twitter; 44 million 'likes' on Facebook and 35 million followers on Instagram, uses social media to speak about his government's policies or appealing for peace.
"Peace and harmony are central to our ethos. I appeal to my sisters and brothers of Delhi to maintain peace and brotherhood at all times. It is important that there is calm and normalcy is restored at the earliest," he tweeted on February 26, speaking about the three days of rioting in the national capital that till date have killed at least 47 people.
This Sunday, thinking of giving up my social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube. Will keep you all posted.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 2, 2020
The tweet from his handle this evening was re-tweeted more than 9,000 times and 'liked' by more than 28,000 accounts in two hours. "No sir" started trending on Twitter about Modi's post that was later published on his Facebook and Instagram accounts.
The Congress party was not impressed. "Give up hatred, not social media accounts," said Rahul Gandhi, the party's former president.
Give up hatred, not social media accounts. pic.twitter.com/HDymHw2VrB— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 2, 2020
Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said Modi should control online trolls claiming to speak on his behalf. "Earnestly wish you would give this advise to the concerted army of trolls, who abuse-intimidate-badger-threaten others every second in your name!" he said on Twitter.
Before the tweet on giving up social media, Modi's handle had wished Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli a "speedy recovery" after his surgery.