The White House has unfollowed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter days after it followed the Indian premier, President Ram Nath Kovind and the Indian embassy in the US. The White House’s decision to follow PM Modi was widely deemed as the latter’s growing friendship with US President Donald Trump.
The White House, which is the official residence of Trump, had followed both the personal account (@narendramodi) of PM Modi and his official Twitter handle @PMOIndia.
However, the White House decided to unfollow all Twitter accounts related to India by Tuesday night. Now the number of accounts followed by the White House has come down from 19 to just 13. Not only did it unfollow both the accounts of PM Modi but the White House also unfollowed President Kovind, the Indian embassy in the US and the US embassy in India.
The latest development comes amidst the US religious freedom watchdog recommending the State Department to place India in the list of ‘countries of particular concern’ as it slammed the discriminatory Citizenship (Amendment) Act passed by the Indian parliament in its annual report on religious freedom. Other countries recommended to be placed in the same list for their questionable religious freedom are Myanmar, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Nigeria, Russia, Syria, and Vietnam.
It was on 7 April when India succumbed to Trump’s threat of consequences if the former did not immediately allow the supply of Hydroxychloroquine to the US, where the coronavirus has wreaked havoc.
Speaking to reporters, Trump had said, “So, I would be surprised if that were his (Modi’s) decision. He’d have to tell me that. I spoke to him Sunday morning, called him, and I said we’d appreciate your allowing our supply to come out. If he doesn’t allow it to come out, that would be okay, but of course, there may be retaliation. Why wouldn’t there be?”
On 12 April, Indian media went berserk in reporting how the White House had started following Modi, likening the development to the Indian prime minister’s growing stature on the world stage.
On 28 April, it emerged that the White House has now unfollowed Modi and other Twitter accounts related to India.