Putting rumours and conspiracy theories to rest, India’s Ministry of External Affairs announced on Thursday that the White House had followed the official accounts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind, among others, for a brief time during US President Donald Trump’s visit to India in order to retweet their posts.
The ministry said that tweets cannot be used as a basis to characterise relations.
“It is cleared by the White House through media report. They briefly followed Twitter account during the President's visit. This is done so that officials of the host country can retweet the messages about the visit”, India's Ministry of External Affairs cleared the air regarding the unfollowing row.
The White House’s senior official also gave a similar explanation earlier this week. A senior administration official told PTI that the White House typically “follows” the accounts of host countries for a brief period during presidential visits to share posts in support of the event.
On 29 April, the White House unfollowed six Twitter accounts of President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister's Office, the Indian Embassy in the US, the US Embassy in India, and US Ambassador to India Ken Juster.
Soon after, Rahul Gandhi, the prominent leader of the opposition Congress Party, tweeted: "I'm dismayed by the "unfollowing" of our President & PM by the White House. I urge the Ministry of External Affairs to take note".
I'm dismayed by the "unfollowing" of our President & PM by the White House. I urge the Ministry of External Affairs to take note.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 29, 2020