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Indian PM Modi’s WhatsApp Letter Sparks Concerns Among Residents

Indian PM Modi's WhatsApp Letter Sparks Concerns Among Residents

Many expressed concerns over data privacy, while opposition parties criticized for ‘misuse’ of government resources

Dubai: Indian expatriates and individuals of various nationalities residing in the UAE were taken by surprise over the weekend as they received unsolicited WhatsApp messages originating from Indian phone numbers. The messages, accompanied by a PDF letter from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sought feedback and suggestions on the Indian government’s schemes and initiatives.

In the letter, issued on the eve of the general elections, Prime Minister Modi emphasized the importance of gathering ideas and support to build a prosperous India. While some recipients found the unexpected message pleasantly surprising, others, particularly non-Indians, questioned its relevance and their involvement.

Dubai-based Pakistani journalist Asma Zain expressed her bewilderment regarding the message’s relevance. “I received the message at midnight. It left me wondering: what sort of suggestions could Mr. Modi possibly need from me? And more importantly, should I even be providing them?”

Fahad Siddiqui, another Pakistani resident, echoed similar sentiments, calling the experience “strange.”

Additionally, several Emiratis and Britons reported receiving the letter, raising questions about data privacy and the source of their contact information.

Prime Minister Modi, seeking a third term in office, has set ambitious goals for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies, aiming to secure over 400 seats in the upcoming elections. Central to the BJP’s campaign is the promise of a developed India by 2047, encapsulated in the Viksit Bharat agenda.

However, opposition parties have criticized the BJP’s outreach efforts, labeling them as political propaganda disguised as citizen feedback. The Kerala Congress denounced the attached PDF as campaign material, accusing Prime Minister Modi of ‘misusing’ government resources for political gain.

Congress lawmaker Shashi Tharoor raised concerns about privacy violations and questioned how the BJP and the Indian government obtained residents’ phone numbers.

In February, BJP president J P Nadda launched ‘Viksit Bharat Modi ki guarantee’ video vans, soliciting suggestions from citizens nationwide to shape the party’s manifesto for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

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