On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 9.02 km-long Atal Tunnel in Rohtang, Himachal Pradesh, greatly reducing travel time between Manali and the Lahaul-Spiti valley.
It is believed to be the world’s longest highway tunnel above an altitude of 10,000 feet.
The project is expected to boost tourism in the region and will give the armed forces quicker access to Ladakh.
As part of the inauguration ceremony, Modi walked in the tunnel and took a ride in it in an open-vehicle. But footage that emerged of him waving in the seemingly empty tunnel prompted a burst of humour on social media.
Who exactly was he waving at and why was he doing so, many wanted to know.
This is not the first time Modi was caught on camera waving at nobody in particular.
The prime minister once puzzled social media by waving from a boat to no discernible audience in Srinagar’s Dal Lake. This was especially ironic since an intense security lockdown had accompanied Modi’s visit to Kashmir.
A few months before, in December 2018, Modi’s actions during the inauguration of Assam’s Bogbhee Bridge caused similar bafflement.
Atal Tunnel, connecting Manali to the Lahaul-Spiti valley, inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi