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PM Modi’s WhatsApp Outreach Extends to Pakistan and UAE, Sparks Controversy

The recent outreach campaign initiated by the Indian government, particularly the unsolicited WhatsApp messages and PDF letter from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has stirred a range of reactions among recipients in the UAE, including Indian expatriates, Emiratis, Britons, and Pakistanis.

While some Indian recipients viewed the message as a welcomed opportunity to contribute to the country’s development, others, particularly non-Indians, expressed confusion and scepticism regarding their inclusion in the outreach effort. Many questioned the relevance of their feedback and the legality of their personal data being used in this manner.

The BJP’s ambitious goals for the upcoming elections, including the aim to secure over 400 seats, have led to heightened campaign efforts, with the Viksit Bharat agenda serving as a central theme. However, opposition parties have criticized these efforts, labelling them as political propaganda and accusing the government of misusing resources for electoral gain.

Concerns over data privacy have also been raised, with many recipients questioning how their private mobile numbers were obtained and expressing discomfort at being subjected to unsolicited political messaging.

In response to these criticisms, Congress lawmaker Shashi Tharoor shared screenshots of a LinkedIn post by UAE-based consultant Anthony J Permal, highlighting the perceived violation of privacy laws and questioning the ethics of the government’s actions.

Echoing a similar sentiment, Congress MP Manish Tewari wrote on X, “This unsolicited WhatsApp message came at 12.09 AM today. It seems to be from @GoI_MeitY (Ministry of Electronics & IT). Is this not a blatant violation of the both Model Code of Conduct & Right to Privacy.”

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