New Delhi: As speculations were rife over why the White House has unfollowed Prime Minister Narendra Modi days after following him on Twitter, the White House on Wednesday has explained that its Twitter handle typically ‘follows’ the accounts of officials from host countries for a brief period during a presidential trip to retweet their messages in support of the visit. Also Read - Pressure Mounts on Modi Govt to Impose Nationwide Lockdown; Oppn Says Total Shutdown 'Inevitable' 

So, it’s not just PM Modi, the handle followed some other handles too, including that of President Ram Nath Kovind. All these handled have now been unfollowed. Also Read - PM Dials Chief Ministers Of 4 States To Discuss Covid Situation In Their States. Read Details

During President Donald Trump’s visit to India in the last week of February, the official Twitter handle of the White House — @WhiteHouse — had started ‘following’ the accounts of President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister’s office, the Indian Embassy in the US, the US Embassy in India and the US Ambassador to India, Ken Juster. Also Read - Trump Remains Banned on Facebook & Instagram, Decision To Be Reviewed

Early this week, the White House ‘unfollowed’ all these six Twitter handles.

“The White House Twitter account normally follows senior US government Twitter accounts, and others as appropriate. For example, during the time of a presidential visit, the account typically follows for a short time, the host country’s officials to retweet their messages in support of the visit,” a senior administration official told PTI.

The White House ‘unfollowing’ the Twitter accounts of President Kovind and PM Modi drew reactions on social media in India. Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said he was “dismayed” at the development. “I’m dismayed by the “unfollowing” of our President & PM by the White House. I urge the Ministry of External Affairs to take note,” he said in a tweet on Wednesday.

As of Wednesday, the White House had 22 million followers.

It has traditionally ben following 13 accounts including that of President Donald Trump and his official Twitter handle, the First Lady, the Vice President, the Second Lady, the new Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, the National Security Council and the former White House Press Secretary, Stephanie Grisham, among others.

(With PTI Inputs)