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Friday, September 18, 2020

Delhi Confidential: Surprise Praise

Omar Abdullah, who came out of an eight-month detention recently, was in for a surprise on Monday when Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted a message tagging him.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | March 31, 2020 1:28:22 am
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah. National Conference leader Omar Abdullah.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, who came out of an eight-month detention recently, was in for a surprise on Monday when Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted a message tagging him. Modi quoted Omar’s tweet about the demise of his uncle, Mohd Ali Mattoo, and expressed his condolences. Modi also had a word of appreciation for Omar. “In this hour of grief, your call to avoid any large gathering is appreciable and will strengthen India’s fight against COVID-19,” he wrote. BJP leaders are wondering whether the Prime Minister just used the opportunity to send a larger social message or whether the public lauding had any political message in it.

Message Overload

The 11 empowered groups to coordinate various aspects of COVID-19 management have given rise to a unique problem for officials. There are several new WhatsApp groups now and Health Ministry officials in the thick of things have been put on several groups —- some are on all of them. As an official put it, “Reading WhatsApp messages will soon be a full-time job.”

Discussing Tradition

The Prime Minister’s video conference with the heads of all of India’s embassies and high commissions worldwide, which was the first such event for Indian missions worldwide, was convened to discuss responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the video conference, the issue of mental health came up with a German state minister committing suicide. In that context, Modi’s yoga videos in 25 languages was highlighted, and the use of traditional medicine in coping with tremendous mental stress was discussed.

Reassuring Message

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla is an MP from Kota, Rajasthan, which is a coaching hub for engineering and medical aspirants. With a nationwide lockdown in place, students staying in Kota, like people across the country, are facing trouble reaching home. On Monday, Birla took to Twitter to reassure parents that the children living there are like his family, and that those facing problems should reach out to his office in Rajasthan or Delhi.

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