White House congratulates BJP on Twitter

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: May 16, 2014 21:44 IST

The White House on Friday congratulated the BJP on its victory in the elections, and said the United States was looking forward to working with the new government.

But there was no mention of Narendra Modi, who is going to be the next prime minister. There was also no word on whether President Barack Obama will call Modi to congratulate him personally, as have other world leaders such as the Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.

"US congratulates BJP on its victory in India’s historic election; we look forward to working w/ govt once formed to advance our partnership," said Obama’s National Security Council in a tweet.

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Questions were raised immediately if that was enough given recent problems between the two countries, and between the United States and Modi.
The White House pointed to the tweet for its response, for now.

But there is precedent, it seems, that the call doesn’t always happen the day or night of elections results — the United States is known to have waited until the swearing in.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, for instance, who was on excellent terms with President Obama, received a congratulatory call almost a week after his re-election in 2009.

Obama called Singh on May 23, after the latter was sworn in. The elections resulted had been known by then for a week, having been wrapped on May 17.
It was in that call that Obama invited Singh to visit the United States, and the prime minister did, famously as the Obamas’ first state guest, made newsier perhaps by some gate-crashers.

This time around, the president did issue a statement earlier welcoming the successful completion of the elections, and saying he was ready to work with the next government.

That statement was issued on the last day of polling and after the exit polls — almost all — forecast a resounding victory for the BJP, making Modi the next occupant of 7, Race Course Road.

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