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Delhi confidential: Air priority

The broadcast of PM Narendra Modi’s maiden radio broadcast — Mann Ki Baat — was not limited to the 15-minute airtime.

By: Express News Service |
October 7, 2014 2:09:56 am

Air priority

The broadcast of PM Narendra Modi’s maiden radio broadcast — Mann Ki Baat — was not limited to the 15-minute airtime it got on All India Radio at 11 am on October 3. In addition to offering the voice-over free of cost to private radio channels, private news channels and even community radios, many of whom aired it live, AIR and DD News repeated the broadcast in all regional languages the same evening. It seems like the public broadcasters wanted to leave no stone unturned to ensure that the PM’s radio debut was disseminated as widely as possible.

Not welcome

On a recent visit to New Delhi, Chhattisgarh’s former home minister Ramvichar Netam realised what it means to be out of power. Netam, who lost the Assembly elections last year, checked into Chhattisgarh Bhawan as a private guest, which meant he had to pay. But when he was handed the bill, he asked the staff to collect the payment from the Chhattisgarh government. “Or wait for five more years till I come back to power,” he is reported to have told the staff. Puzzled, the staff informed the state government. The Chhattisgarh Bhawan is understood to have received instructions from the state government not to take any bookings from Netam or his friends in the future.

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Interpreter perks

Being the Prime Minister’s interpreter has its perks. Vinay Mohan Kwatra, who was joint secretary (counter-terrorism) in the Ministry of External Affairs, was hand-picked for Hindi-to-English interpretation for PM Narendra Modi. Kwatra has sat through all the PM’s meetings, including with SAARC heads of state. Last month, he travelled with Modi to the US and sat in his meeting with Obama. Kwatra is now set to be appointed for the sought-after position of joint secretary (Americas) as incumbent Vikram Doraiswami is headed for Uzbekistan as India’s envoy.

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First published on: 07-10-2014 at 02:09:56 am

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