The sentence ‘proud’ or ‘blessed to be followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’ has often been associated with a sense of shame lately as critics pointed out the vicious nature of some of the individuals Modi followed on Twitter.
The vicious trolls followed by Modi often targeted journalists criticising the government, issued them rape threats and used vulgar language for them and their family members. But, this had no impact on the prime minister as he continues to follow them with utmost sincerity.
Many of Modi’s political rivals including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged that this was a way of prime minister extending his tacit approval to his troll army to give grief to his critics on social media.
On Monday, when Modi celebrated his 68th birthday, several journalists took to Twitter to express their joy that the prime minister had started following them too. An elated ABP journalist Chitra Tripathi wrote, “After joining Twitter, I’ve been continuously following the prime minister on this platform. Thank you Narendra Modi ji for giving me the place in your list of 2000 people by following me.”
Another journalist, who was equally nimble-footed in expressing his joy on being followed by Modi on Twitter was News18 India’s deputy managing editor, Sumit Awasthi. He tweeted, “What a surprise! Prime Minister of our Country Mr @narendramodi is now in touch with me directly here on twitter. Thanks Mr PM ?.. I am really humbled and appreciate this gesture of yours. Again #HappyBirthDayPM ?????. Thanks for the return gift! Narendra Modi PMO India.”
Awasthi has pinned his tweet thanking Modi for humbling him by following him on Twitter. He was recently in the news after a Congress spokesperson accused the anchor of slapping him during a live debate.
Rajeev Tyagi was taking part in the debate titled ‘(Rahul kaa haath Bimaar Lalu ke saath) Rahul’s hand with the ailing Lalu’ when he reached out to the show’s anchor Sumit Awasthi to ask him to also ‘show courage’ and conduct TV debates on Rafale defence deal, Judge Loya’s death and Amit Shah’s son.
Other journalists, who Modi honoured by following on Twitter are Times Now’s Navika Kumar and Megha Prasad and Republic TV’s Deepti Sachdeva.
An elated Sachdeva too confessed that Modi’s decision to follow her on the microblogging site had left her humbled. She even linked Modi’s decision to women’s empowerment. Her tweet read, “Absolutely honoured & humbled. Thank you for the follow
@narendramodi ji. Totally agree with you when you say a Nation is empowered by it’s women. And they eventually make an empowered country. Thank you for empowering us today, and always!”
Like Awasthi, she too has pinned her tweet thanking Modi for following her on Twitter.