On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the chief ministers of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha. He also dialled the LGs of Puducherry and Jammu and Kashmir. The phone calls were aimed at taking stock of the Covid-19 situation in such states and union territories. Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, however, decided to take to Twitter to complain as to how the Prime Minister allegedly spoke himself alone, not giving sufficient time to Soren to pitch in with his two bits. Soren attacked the Prime Minister via a tweet and took distasteful jibes at him only for enquiring about the Covid-situation in Jharkhand.
“Today, the respected Prime Minister called. He only spoke his “Mann Ki Baat“. It would have been better if he would have talked business and listened to the issues,” the Jharkhand Chief Minister tweeted in Hindi. Soren was “unhappy” as he was not allowed to speak about his concerns and it was only the Prime Minister who talked, PTI quoted state officials as saying. The government of Jharkhand, led by the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha has the Congress party as a constituent and has been critical of the Centre in the past over its handling of several issues, including migrant workers and the pandemic in general.
आज आदरणीय प्रधानमंत्री जी ने फोन किया। उन्होंने सिर्फ अपने मन की बात की। बेहतर होता यदि वो काम की बात करते और काम की बात सुनते।
— Hemant Soren (@HemantSorenJMM) May 6, 2021
BJP leaders and supporters were furious with Soren’s misadventure and called him out for his denigration of not just his own post, but also mocking of the concerns raised by the Prime Minister during their conversation. Himanta Biswa Sarma – BJP’s potential CM candidate in Assam took to Twitter to call out Hemant Soren for his improper conduct. Sarma said, “Your tweet is not just against minimum decorum but is also a mockery of the pain of the people of your state, for whom the Prime Minister called you. You have pulled a despicable stunt. You have lowered the dignity of the Chief Minister’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
Sarbananda Sonowal – caretaker Chief Minister of Assam also pitched in, and said, “Hemant Soren ji, it’s really unfortunate that you are trying to politicise the Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modiji’s concern and work for people. PM Modi ji’s every effort and action are only for the people and the Nation.”
PM Modi ji's every effort and action are only for the people and the Nation. https://t.co/RBkixevbgE
— Sarbananda Sonowal (@sarbanandsonwal) May 7, 2021
Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga also took to Twitter to call out Hemant Soren, and said, “We are really fortunate to have an active, attentive and a very responsive Prime Minister like Shri Narendra Modi ji in times like this. I personally find it quite comforting, getting his calls; inquiring about my state’s Covid-19 situation, forest fires, refugee problems etc.” The chief ministers of Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh also registered their protest against Soren for his outrageous tweet.
We are really fortunate to have an active, attentive and a very responsive Prime Minister like Shri @narendramodi ji in times like this.
I personally find it quite comforting, getting his calls; inquiring about my state's Covid-19 situation, forest fires, refugee problems etc. https://t.co/uCdjqYvmMJ
— Zoramthanga (@ZoramthangaCM) May 7, 2021
In my experience, whenever our Hon'ble PM Shri @narendramodi ji calls, it has been always assuring. I really admire his passion to understand the challenges Manipur had encountered.
Shri @HemantSorenJMM ji, let the collective spirit be our guiding light. https://t.co/5n3vmL5Co2
— N.Biren Singh (@NBirenSingh) May 7, 2021
In my experience as a Chief Minister for several tenure, Honourable @PMOIndia Shri @narendramodi has always been sensitive to the concerns of the states, particularly of the Northeast states. I disagree with Shri @HemantSorenJMM and I hope retracts his statement. https://t.co/UrBVDDHuAw
— Neiphiu Rio (@Neiphiu_Rio) May 7, 2021
It has always been assuring whenever Hon’ble PM @narendramodi Ji calls. It’s time to stand together rising above differences to defeat this pandemic. We are not safe, unless all are safe. https://t.co/yMEMl8nVxc
— Pema Khandu པདྨ་མཁའ་འགྲོ་། (@PemaKhanduBJP) May 7, 2021
Even former Jharkhand chief minister and the leader of the opposition, Babulal Marandi was more direct in his attack on Soren, and tweeted, “Hemant Soren is a failed CM. Failure in governance. Failure in tackling COVID in the state. Failure to assist people. To hide his failures, he demeans the office he holds. Wake up and work, Mr. Soren. The clock is ticking.”
Hemant Soren is a failed CM.
Failure in governance.
Failure in tackling COVID in the state.
Failure to assist people.
To hide his failures he demeans the office he holds.
— Babulal Marandi (@yourBabulal) May 7, 2021
Hemant Soren has landed himself in a tight spot, as he would not have expected such backlash from the leaders of states which have traditionally been ignored by the Centre prior to 2014, but which have been on the prime focus of the Modi government ever since it came to power in Delhi.