They were together for a while, finding a nationalistic bond after the horrific Pulwama attack. The lull was unlikely to last for long. The fractious politics of India were back at the centre of the stage once again as the sparks started flying. Was there a sense of déja vu after a hug triggered those sparks again?
Prince Mohammed bin Salman, MBS in media-shortened form, landed in India a day after going home from Pakistan where Imran Khan personally drove the limo from the airport. Given such optics, it was on the cards that the biggest hugger among leaders in contemporary history, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave the Saudi Prince the bear hug treatment too.
The chatter started at once why did Modi break protocol and not let a designated minister meet the Prince as MBS had just said Pakistan was in every Saudi heart and announced a $20 billion investment lifeline to a faltering economy? Tweeple were busy debating the pros and cons against the backdrop of Pulwama and the tragic loss of well over 40 bravehearts.
The tragedy seemed to slip into the background as political parties wrangled, with the Congress accusing the Prime Minister of “shooting film like a Bollywood star” while “we were counting bodies” and they even accused him of drinking tea and eating samosa, facts that were immediately dismissed as “fake” by the BJP. At a time when it is becoming more and more difficult to sieve the fake from real news, none might be the wiser after such charges flew back and forth in the aftermath of Pulwama.
Priyanka Chaturvedi @priyankac19
Looks like bhakts are in burn mode because I tweeted about Mohammed Bin Salman&PM Modi hug. Just to inform these bhakts, PM Modi broke the protocol to hug & receive MBS at the airport, this comes within 24 hours of KSA's announcement of aid to Pak. #PulwamaTerrorAttack
Capt.Amarinder Singh @capt_amarinder
Dear @ImranKhanPTI you have Jaish chief Masood Azhar sitting in Bahawalpur & masterminding the attacks with ISI help. Go pick him up from there. If you can't let us know, we'll do it for you. BTW what has been done about the proofs of Mumbai's 26/11 attack. Time to walk the talk.
Your party is sitting cosy on Sidhu who hugged Bajwa, Khalistani which was not protocol. Modi hug is under official protocol- sorry you will not understand bcoz your leaders keep on hugging & kissing all grades of terrorists, goons, looters , ISI & italian mafia.
Awakened Indian @ptriotic
Looks like it's beyond U 2 understand International Diplomacy where India's interest is Supreme & Diplomatic Isolation of your Enemy is of paramount importance. And then there are no Fixed Rules to achieve it. Had Nehru followed it India wud b in SC of UN.
VISWA ANOOP NERELLA? @ViswaAnoop
Imran Khan is acting as if there are no terrorists living illegally/legally in pakistan. The best thing he could do for both the nations common people is to openly kill those terrorists across pakistan and prove to the whole world how good his new government is?
Very rightly showing the mirror to Imran Khan, but Sir most Indians baffled to see you retaining Rahul Gandhi stooge Navjot Singh Sidhu in your Cabinet. Why not assert and kick him out ? Congress propping @sherryontopp like they sponsored Bhindrawale. Have to remember that pl.
PM Modi will break all protocol to hug n receive MBS at airport during visit, but will not have time to meet poor farmers who comes to meet PM! No protocol will be breached tht time & bhakts are dumb to realise this!
Vijayanand Katikala @vijayanandelias
While Modi ji goes uninvited to pakistan and hugs their PM. MBS just offered 20 Billion to Pak, which could well be used for attacks on India. Diplomacy ki bhi koi seema hoti hain.
Shagnick Misra @shagnick_misra
Which is that protocol by which a 50 year old moron, who is not even part of the Govt, went to meet Chinese diplomats secretly, when the Indian Army was in an eyeball to eyeball with the Chinese Army at Doklam, bimbette?
Dear Captain, you have a gaddaar siddhu sitting in your cabinet. Should the army/police pick him up?
It was really sick to see that bear hug. Modi going arms open to hug MBS is disgraceful, given the fact that MBS just promised Pakistan a $20 billion investment and Pakistan being the reason for the Pulwama terrorist attack that killed 40 CRPF jawans.
Kirti Pandey @KirtiPandey
India should just stop breathing because Pakistan breathes in the same air, right @priyankac19 ? Why should two heads of state hug each other? Sidhu can go hug Pak army chief. Rahul meets Chinese officials and @jack ... Modiji should not hug Saudi crown prince. Right?
I disagree with you. Most of us like neither the optics nor the action of "the airport reception or hug". But we do trust the PM and stand behind him during these difficult negotiations! There will be lots of time for criticism during elections. Wait for it!