By: Ishita Goel
June 1 2023
The poster was seen in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, in February 2019, ahead of Modi's visit to the state. It is unrelated to his recent Ajmer visit.
India's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has begun a month-long program with nationwide rallies planned from May 30 to June 30 ahead of general elections next year. The rallies will also mark Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government's ninth anniversary. Deccan Herald reported the party aims to hold 51 rallies, more than 500 meetings across all parliamentary seats, and arrange press conferences at over 600 areas. Modi kicked off the 'Maha Jansampark' campaign in Ajmer, Rajasthan, on May 31.
This led to a misleading poster being circulated on social media claiming that a billboard was seen in Rajasthan's Ajmer city with the text: "Modi no entry." The poster showed Modi with his head bowed; and the billboard also carried the design of a traffic board design with a stop sign and orange traffic cones. There were hashtags added on the poster: 'NoMoreModi' and 'ModiIsAMistake.'
Another user expressed anger and wrote: "When gold medalists are crying for justice and Modi is turning a blind eye." In this version, the image carried a sticker 'No entry rajasthan Modi.'
Yet another user shared the image and wrote, "This is Rajasthan. Did you think it was Gujarat." A user tweeted the image, writing, "A great welcome to the PM Narendra Modi at the Ajmer Rajasthan. The banners and poster have been put up on the Street." The latter also shared a photo showing graffiti on a road which read: Go Back Modi.
Through a reverse image search, we found that this poster dates back to 2019. On February 10, 2019, Economic Times published a report headlined, "Go back Modi! Protests held in Guntur, other parts of Andhra Pradesh." The report carried the viral image and said anti-Modi slogans were raised by activists from political parties, and student groups, while many protested by staging sit-ins or taking out rallies.
Similarly, on February 9, 2019, The News Minute reported that ahead of Modi's visit to Guntur a year after the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) severed ties with the BJP, such billboards were seen. The report also carried the viral image and wrote, "Billboards with Modi hanging his head and the words "Modi No Entry" printed large in red block letters in the background have sprung up." Other billboards carrying "Modi Never Again" were also seen in the state.
Modi visited Andra Pradesh in 2019 to campaign for the Lok Sabha elections. However, his visit saw mass protests, with people waving black flags, and balloons, and raising anti-Modi slogans.
While the poster was spotted in February 2019, we were also able to trace back the cutout of Modi used in the poster to 2018. Photo-hosting website Alamy carried the image, crediting it to AP, and captioned it, "Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi listens to a speaker during Buddha Jayanti celebrations in New Delhi, India, Monday, April 30, 2018."
The image showing "Go Back Modi" graffiti on a road, it is not from Ajmer. The original graffiti is from Kolkata, from a time when Modi visited the city in January 2020 during the anti-CAA protests. Logically Facts has previously debunked this image in April 2023, when it resurfaced with the claim that this graffiti was seen in Chennai during Modi's visit.
During the campaigning for Lok Sabha elections in 2019 in Andhra Pradesh, the state saw protests and several anti-Modi hoardings. This poster was seen in Guntur at the time and has been falsely shared to claim that it was used to welcome Modi to Ajmer during his visit in May 2023.