Obama congratulates Modi, media notes PM’s love of selfies

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
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  • Updated: May 26, 2014 21:40 IST

President Barack Obama has congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his new government on their swearing-in, the White House said in a statement on Monday.
And, the statement said referencing Obama’s phone call to Modi on May 17, “As the President and Prime Minister agreed in their call after the election, as the world’s two largest democracies, India and the United States share a deep bond and commitment to promoting economic opportunity, freedom, and security for our people and around the world.”

“We look forward to working closely together with the new government to continue to strengthen and expand the US-India strategic partnership for years to come,” it added.

The United States has been effusive in welcoming the new government starting with the end of polling on May 12, when exit polls showed Modi’s BJP headed for victory.

In that call Obama invited Modi to visit the US, summarily ending a decade-long boycott of the then Gujarat chief minister who was denied a visa in 2005 over the 2002 riots.

US media, which had not paid as much attention to the election as some felt, made up with their coverage of the election results devoting acres of space, and top edits.

The swearing-in got relatively less acreage, but was noted.

Prime minister of the largest democracy in the world loves selfies, said BuzzFeed, a rising star in US online news, moments after Prime Minister Modi was sworn in.

Modi’s love of social media — and selfies, apparently — was on BuzzFeed’s list of “12 things that you need to know about Narendra Modi, India’s new prime minister”.

The New York Times’s blog India Ink reported the ceremony, noting the presence of Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif, seated next to outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Wall Street Journal ran a story previewing the ceremony — noting that the menu for the dinner that was to follow was largely vegetarian, with a Gujarati dessert.


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