Guwahati, February 10, 2019
Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrapped up his Northeast visit, a hashtag #NorthEastForModi started trending on the micro-blogging site Twitter. On the other hand, the critics of Modi are posting tweets using the hashtag #GobackModi.
In the last 24 hours, #NorthEastForModi was tweeted 2,500 and retweeted 2,100 times in Assam whereas, #GobackModi was tweeted 1,200 and retweeted 820 times in Assam, at the time of filing this report.
A tough fight of the hashtags is doing the rounds on Twitter among the followers and critics of the Prime Minister. The IT wings of the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party started posting tweets using the two viral hashtags to counter each other. Later, the aam janta joined the battle of the hashtags.
Black flags & ‘Go Back Modi’
Prime Minister Modi arrived in Guwahati to a black flag welcome on February 8th, 2019. The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) raised black flags as the PM’s cavalcade passed in front of the organisation’s office at Uzan Bazar on the evening of February 8th, 2019. The activists were restricted as the gates of the AASU office was locked by the city police.
The Prime Minister was first greeted with black flag protests at Jalukbari by the students of the Gauhati University on his way to the Raj Bhawan. The protesters dotted the entire route shouting anti-Modi slogan and waving black flags. Looking unruffled, PM Modi smiled and waved to the protesting students from inside his car – the photo of which went viral within hours.
Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti activists too showed black flags to Modi at Adabari and Fancy Bazar areas of Guwahati, which fell on his route on February 8th, 2019. ‘Go back Modi’, ‘Joi Aai Axom’ slogans rent the air on February 8th-February 9th, 2019. Modi inaugurated several infrastructure projects in Changsari, Kamrup on February 10th, 2019, besides visiting Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura.
Black balloons were released in the skies, black flags were waved and effigies of Prime Minister were burnt across the state on February 9th, 2019.
Violation of Assam Accord
The opposition parties in Assam, students’ bodies and the civil societies are protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, claiming it will change the region’s demography and violates the historic 1985 Assam Accord. Widespread protests broke out in Assam after the Bill was passed at the Lok Sabha on January 8th, 2019.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, to grant nationality to people belonging to minority communities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of their residence in India.