Friday, Nov 28, 2014

Narendra Modi government: 10 days, 10 talking points

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Written by Shivani Vig | New Delhi | Posted: June 5, 2014 11:20 am

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set an ambitious 100-day plan within 72 hours of assuming office, sending out a clear message that he will continue to pursue his good governance agenda. But the new government has been in news, but not for all the good reasons. Here, we mention ten.

1. PMO Twitter handle: Even before Narendra Modi could assume office as Prime Minister, the outgoing officials archived the PMO Twitter handle, sparking a furore in political circles. However, the Twitter account was restored just two days before Modi took oath as the next prime minister, provoking the BJP to call it “disgraceful, unethical and illegal”. The Twitter handle, @PMOIndia, launched during the tenure of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was changed to @PMOIndiaArchive. In a statement, the PMO had said, “All official communications from PMO in print and in digital form are being archived according to RTI Act. Copyrights and control remain with the PMO. The handover is being facilitated for the next administration.” The was criticised by the BJP, as it said that @pmoindia should have been passed on to Modi’s office as a national, digital asset.

2. Article 370: The newly sworn in Minister of State in the PMO, Jitendra Singh stoked the first major controversy when he said that the discussion to revoke Article 370, providing special status to Jammu and Kashmir, has begun. The controversy grew into a full blown war of words with various political parties reacting sharply to Singh’s statement. J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah lashed out at the Modi government as he tweeted: “Mark my words & save this tweet – long after Modi Govt is a distant memory either J&K won’t be part of India or Art 370 will still exist”. Facing flak, the MoS later clarified that he was ‘misquoted’.

3. Smriti Irani qualification row: On the same day, another controversy broke out in the political arena over the educational qualification of the HRD Minister Smriti Irani after it emerged that she had made contradictory declarations when she contested the LS polls in 2004 and 2014. The Congress leaders took pot shots at the newly sworn in HRD minister, questioning Irani’s ability to deliver as HRD minister since she is “not even a graduate”. The 38-year-old television actor-turned politician broke her silence and said that she should be judged by her work and not her qualifications. “I will request all of you that judge me by my work and I will not add anything to the statement I have made,” she said.

4. Shiv Sena sulks over portfolio: On the day ministers in the Modi government settled in, Anant Geete of the Shiv Sena struck a discordant note by refusing to take charge of the Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Ministry. Geete settled for the portfolio only after Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. The Shiv Sena has secured as many as 18 seats continued…

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