Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren late on Thursday night said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called him to say his “mann ki baat (my thoughts)” instead of discussing important matters. The phrase was a reference to Modi’s monthly programme aired on the All India Radio, where he speaks about various matters.
“Respected prime minister called me up tonight,” Soren said in a tweet in Hindi. “He just spoke his ‘man ki baat’. It would have been better had he said some “kaam ki baat” [matters of importance], and listened to some “kaam ki baat”.”
“PM Modi did not ask anything on the condition of the state or resources and what all the state needed [for handling the coronavirus situation],” an unidentified source, close to Soren, told The Indian Express about the call. “The state has been struggling to get the required medicines. He just went on and on. This led the CM to write this tweet.”
Apart from Soren, the prime minister also spoke to chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Telangana and lieutenant governors of Union Territories Jammu & Kashmir and Puducherry about the Covid-19 situation in their respective states, News18 reported.
Earlier on Thursday, the prime minister’s office released a statement saying Modi held a review meeting on the Covid-19 outbreak in various states and districts. He was apprised of the situation in the districts with high burden of cases and 12 states with more than one lakh active cases of the infection.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that Soren’s tweet defied “minimum respect” for the prime minister.
“Your tweet also makes a mockery of the people of the state whose well being the prime minister was concerned about,” Sarma said in response to Soren’s post. “Your act is a callous one. You have denigrated the dignity of the chief minister’s post.”