On Thursday (May 7), Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren took potshots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after the latter had called to inquire about the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic in the State. It must be mentioned that PM Modi had rung Lieutenant Governors of Puducherry and Jammu and Kashmir, besides the Chief Ministers of Telangana, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh to review the ongoing vaccination drive and increase production of vaccines in the upcoming months.
In a tweet, Hemant Soren alleged that PM Modi did not listen to him and chose to give a ‘monologue’ instead during the telephone conversation. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called today. He only spoke his mind (Mann ki baat). It would have been better if he had talked something useful or listened to something useful that I had to offer.”
Citing sources, Indian Express reported, “The Jharkhand CM’s angst was palpable. PM Modi did not ask anything on the condition of the state and on resources and what all the state needed. The state has been struggling to get the required medicines. He just went on and on. This led the CM to write this tweet.” Reportedly, Hemant Soren had been supposedly miffed at the Union government for not including it in the list of places where new 581 Pressure Swing Adsorption medical oxygen generation plants are being set up.
While the Prime Minister had called the Chief Ministers personally to take stock of the ongoing pandemic and the problems faced by the states, the Jharkhand CM seems to have taken this opportunity to play politics instead and indulge in public grand-standing.
While opposition parties have targeted the Prime Minister in the most uncouth manner on several occasions, turning an administrative call into a public spectacle can be considered a new low.
BJP hits back at Hemant Soren
BJP MLA from Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, slammed the Jharkhand CM for his disrespectful tweet towards the Prime Minister. In his tweet on Friday (May 7), he wrote, “Your tweet is not only against undignified, but also mocks the suffering of the people of Jharkhand. PM Modi had called to learn about the challenges faced by the same people. You have done a petty job. You have lowered the status of the CM’s post.”
आपका यह ट्वीट न सिर्फ़ न्यूनतम मर्यादा के ख़िलाफ़ है बल्कि उस राज्य की जनता की पीड़ा का भी मजाक़ उड़ाना है जिनका हाल जानने के लिए माननीय प्रधानमंत्री जी ने फ़ोन किया था। बहुत ओछी हरकत कर दी आपने। मुख्यमंत्री पद की गरिमा भी गिरा दी https://t.co/AIm0V6uc17— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) May 6, 2021
Arvind Kejriwal live telecasts closed-door meeting with PM Modi
Earlier, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal also tried to pull off a similar stunt. Last month, he went live during a closed-door meeting between Prime Minister Modi and the Chief Ministers of high burden states. The Prime Minister himself was not happy with Kejriwal for breaking protocols and chastised the Delhi CM for it. A video had emerged where Prime Minister Modi was offering a strong rebuke to Arvind Kejriwal for breaking protocols. He told Kejriwal, “You have broken a very important protocol, such private conversations are never televised. It is not proper, we should always observe decorum.”
The Delhi CM was seen apologising in the video. Initially, he responded callously saying, “Okay, sir. We will keep it in mind in the future.” Realising that he had committed a major mistake stepping over the line, he said, “If I have committed any mistake, if I have said anything untoward, if there was anything wrong with my conduct, I apologise for it.” Sources in the central govt had earlier said that the Delhi CM used the PM-CM conference on Covid-19 as a platform to play politics.