The official Twitter handle of the President of the United States of America, The White House, and the POTUS himself, Donald Trump, have now unfollowed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the social media platform. But why?
It was only three weeks ago when the White House followed PM Modi, President Ram Kovind and other Indian handles. PM Modi was also the only foreign prime minister to have been followed by Trump.
This sudden end of friendship has obviously given rise to conspiracy theories on Twitter.
A few days ago, Trump had urged Modi to lift the ban on the export of hydroxychloroquine, a drug which Trump had repeatedly promoted as a miraculous solution to coronavirus. After Trump's request, Modi had lifted the ban on the drug's export. Trump tweeted that he wouldn't forget his "friend's" help during the coronavirus crisis.
But if that was really the case, why did Trump unfollow Modi on Twitter?
After threatening our PM with retaliation on the Hydroxychloroquine issue, Trump goes on to unfollow PM Modi on Twitter. Why is India global reputation being sabotaged by the US? Wasn't Namaste Trump satisfactory? — Prajwal Kuttappa (@PrajwalKuttappa) April 29, 2020
US President Donald Trump, White House unfollow 'good friend' PM Modi on Twitter. What is the reason behind it. Being him called as Corona Carrier Trump in India, or the moment his purpose of HCQ is over, he changed the stance?,,,, — Balaji Gurude #WithRG (@BGurude) April 29, 2020
Chronology ko Samajhiye ! First He got PM Modi to organize 'Namaste Trump' on the name of 'friendship' Then, threatened & secured HCQ, while Indians suffer Now, unfollowed PM Modi after getting their work done ! — Rohan Gupta (@rohanrgupta) April 29, 2020
2 weeks ago, a diplomatic victory was claimed as @whitehouse followed @narendramodi & several Indian accounts, post export of anti-malarial drugs We tracked following behavior. Now @narendramodi & rest have been unfollowed. Do we get the drugs back, or was 2 weeks the deal? pic.twitter.com/SUyXyqGJyN — joyojeet pal (@joyopal) April 28, 2020
On April 4, The Directorate General of Foreign Trade had issued a notification putting a complete prohibition on the export of hydroxychloroquine and its formulations, given that India is one of the largest manufacturers of the anti-malaria drug.
But Trump wasn't too happy with this. India may have to bear the brunt of America's "retaliation" if it does not lift hold on the export of hydroxychloroquine, he had warned.
"I spoke to him (PM Modi) on Sunday morning and I said we appreciate it that you are allowing our supply (of Hydroxychloroquine) 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?" Trump had said.
Hours later, the Modi government relaxed the ban on the drug. It seemed like India had made its way into Trump's good books once again as the US President tweeted, showering praises on Modi and thanked them for relaxing the ban.
But was that the real reason for their end of friendship on Twitter? The reason might not have anything to do with hydroxychloroquine at all.
Once people started raising questions, a White House spokesperson explained to PTI that their Twitter handle and Donald Trump only follows other foreign handles when the POTUS is about to make a trip to any country for official reasons. Those handles are then followed to show support or retweet important updates regarding the visit.
To jog your memories, Trump visited India in the last week of February for the mega 'Namaste Trump' event.
The White House official also clarified that their Twitter handle, and that of Trump only follow accounts related to the US administration, like First Lady Melania Trump, the Vice President, the Second Lady and so on.