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'Thank you, Tulsi bhai!': PM Modi's reaction after WHO chief congratulates him on third term

PM Modi referred to WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as 'Tulsi bhai' at the Global Ayush Investment and Innovation Summit held in Gandhinagar in April last year. Notably, Narendra Modi is set to become the Indian PM for the record third time after the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee New Delhi Updated on: June 07, 2024 12:16 IST
PM Narendra Modi with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom
Image Source : PTI (FILE) PM Narendra Modi with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is set for a 'historic' third term after the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, thanked World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for his warm wishes, referring to him by his highly popular nickname 'Tulsi bhai'. PM Modi has received congratulatory wishes from global dignitaries after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) secured a third term.

"Thank you my friend Tulsi Bhai ! India's cooperation with WHO promotes our vision of ‘One Earth One Health’. The first WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in India adds to our joint efforts towards #HealthForAll," PM Modi said in a post on X after the WHO Director-General congratulated him on his re-election. Ghebreyesus said he looked forward to continuing WHO-India collaboration for Health for All.

The name 'Tulsi bhai' was given by PM Modi at the Global Ayush Investment and Innovation Summit held in Gandhinagar in April last year. PM Modi again referred to Ghebreyesus as 'Tulsi bhai' after he visited India ahead of the WHO Global Summit on Traditional Medicine held in Gandhinagar on August 17-18. Reacting to a video of the WHO chief playing 'dandiya' in Gujarat, PM Modi tweeted, "My good friend Tulsi Bhai is clearly well prepared for Navratri! Welcome to India." 

The Ministry of Ayush posted Ghebreyesus' video with the caption, "A warm welcome to the WHO Director-General, @DrTedros, also known as Tulsi Bhai, the endearing name conferred upon him by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi."

After visiting a Health and Wellness centre in the Gujarat capital Gandhinagar at that time, the WHO Director-General told reporters that he liked being called by the name due to the prominence of the medicine plant. "By the way, I just planted Tulsi here in the wellness centre and I'm really happy to do that because it has many benefits to take care of our forest and to contribute to make sure that our world is green," he said.

World leaders congratulate PM Modi on NDA 3.0

After the election results, world leaders including US President Joe Biden, Russian President Vladimir Putin, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and others congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his re-election. In a post on X, President Biden noted that the friendship between India and the US is only growing as the two nations unlock a shared future of unlimited potential.

In a separate statement, the US Department of State lauded the 650 million voters for casting their ballots in the largest exercise in democracy and for their contribution to India’s democratic processes. "We commend Indian voters, poll workers, civil society, and journalists for their commitment and vital contributions to India’s democratic processes and institutions," the US government statement said.

Russian President Putin extended heartfelt congratulations on the victory and said that the voting results have confirmed PM Modi's personal high political authority. "Please accept my heartfelt congratulations on the victory of the Indian People's Party in the general parliamentary elections. The voting results again confirmed your personal high political authority, support for your course towards accelerated socio-economic development of India and the protection of its interests on the world stage," a statement of the Russian President said.

British Prime Minister Sunak said he spoke to Modi and congratulated him on his election victory. "Today I spoke to Narendra Modi to congratulate him on his election victory. The UK and India share the closest of friendships, and together that friendship will continue to thrive. There is a close friendship between Britain and India, and together this friendship will continue to grow," Sunak said.

Earlier, world leaders of more than 50 nations, including Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, have congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the victory of the BJP-led NDA coalition in the general elections and expressed their desire to work closely with him. 

China also congratulated Modi on the victory of the BJP-led NDA coalition in the general elections and said it stands ready to work with India bearing in mind the overall interests of bilateral ties. "We noted the results of India’s general election and extend congratulations on the victory of BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NDA," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said.

(with inputs from agencies)

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