As Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Madurai to lay the foundation stone for All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), his haters and admirers stormed the social media with hashtags #GobackModi, #MaduraithanksModi and #TNWelcomesModi. While those supporting the DMK and some Tamil outfits posted tweets with the first hashtag, BJP supporters and Modi admirers trended the last two hashtags. It was a war of words in social media Meanwhile, MDMK general secretary Vaiko and his party cadres staged a black flag demonstration against Modi shortly before he reached Madurai. They said he had betrayed the interests of Tamil Nadu.
The protesters were detained by the police Releasing black baloons, the protesting party cadres raised slogans against Modi. Meanwhile, to counter the MDMK, BJP youth wing supporters put up posters sarcastically "welcoming Vaiko". Union Minister of State for Finance and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan, Tamil Nadu unit BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan and other BJP leaders slammed MDMK for staging the protest ahead of the prime minister laying the foundation for a big project beneficial to the state.
In his address at the foundation stone laying function, the PM said National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre was prioritising the health sector to ensure universal and affordable healthcare. He highlighted schemes like PMSSY, Ayushman Bharat and the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), which were being implemented for this purpose. Stating that the Union government was targeting the eradication of tuberculosis from the country by 2025, he added that he was happy to note that Tamil Nadu was targeting the eradication of the disease by 2023 itself, through initiatives like TB-free Chennai.