With social media having played such an important part in the BJP election campaign, it seems the party does not want to let go of the spoils of its victory.
It seems the party got a bit edgy when it saw the @PMOIndia handle, which was Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s social voice for the latter part of his tenure as PM, being turned into an archive. Soon after the handle was changed to @PMOIndiaArchive, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted:
It seemed she feared that would be the end of what would a good Twitter handle for new prime minister Narendra Modi to reach out to the masses. After all, the @PMOIndia handle have over 1.24 million followers and has been seen as the official voice of the PM.
However, Manmohan Singh’s ‘former’ media adviser Pankaj Pachauri was quick to clarify, on Twitter, that “all our official communications are being archived according to the RTI Act. Copyrights and control remain with the office”. In a subsequent tweet he added:
The profile of the @PMOIndia handle also carried as similar disclaimer: “Archival material under the RTI Act for @PMOIndia till 20/5/2014. @PMOIndia will be available shortly.”
This in effect meant the handle would soon have a new profile picture, of Modi, and new handlers. Incidentally, the PM’s official website – pmindia.nic.in – still carries Manmohan Singh’s speeches and pictures. The govt has until Monday to give that a new face, quite literally.