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Modi connects with media

Modi connects with media
Highlights

Modi connects with media, Such was the euphoric mood as he reached out to each and every journalist present, that there was no cribbing about the fact that the Prime Minister had ducked a question and answer session.

  • Breaks ice with the media with which he has had lukewarm relationship
  • Mingles with journos and poses for selfies, but takes no questions
  • “Media playing a key role in Swachh Bharat, converted pen into broom”
  • “Some way will be found. It is important to interact with media directly”

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has literally stooped to conquer. For someone who rose to the prime ministerial position with ample media support, he had started getting bad press for keeping the journalists at arm’s length. With his panache for making statements through symbols, he physically brushed shoulders with the BJP beat journalists at the party’s 11 Ashok Road headquarters this afternoon to celebrate Diwali.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi poses for photographs with reporters during the Diwali Mangal Milan at BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Saturday. I & B Minister Prakash Javadekar is also seen. (Right) Modi clicks photographs during the Diwali Mangal Milan programme
Such was the euphoric mood as he reached out to each and every journalist present, that there was no cribbing about the fact that the Prime Minister had ducked a question and answer session. Indeed, all journalists were gleefully enjoying the moment and merrily clicking away selfies that they quickly posted on the social media.

Mind you these are the same journos who have been complaining that the Prime Minister is ignoring them and communicating through the social media. Modi once a general secretary at the same headquarters recalled the days when he interacted freely with media persons.

In a brief address, he did make a special mention of the media’s contribution in focusing attention on his Clean India campaign. “You have turned your pen into a broom,” he quipped.

Clearly, with this intimate gesture he was making up for the fact that the BJP beat journalists had been feeling “ ignored” ever since “their party’s government had been formed at the centre.” Modi has stopped the practice of carrying an entourage of journalists on his foreign visits, and also not held any formal interaction with the media.

Reaching out to the media, Modi had some good words for the press on Saturday, promising to find a way to interact with it directly. "Some way will be found. It is important to interact with media directly rather than the reportage and articles. By interacting directly, one gets to know things which media persons cannot report. Not only does one get information but also vision, which is very valuable," he said.

Modi, who used to stay at the party headquarters as a party office-bearer before becoming Chief Minister of Gujarat, said in a brief speech laced with characteristic humour, "I used to arrange chairs here waiting for you. Those were different days when we used to interact freely. I had a beautiful relationship with you and it helped me in Gujarat." The entire top brass of the government and BJP was present at the get-together.

This included the party President Amit Shah, senior ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Prakash Javdekar.

Referring to the 'Swachh Bharat' (Clean India) campaign launched by him, Modi was appreciative of media's role in spreading awareness about it, saying it has helped remove the perception that government is responsible for everything.

He said he was happy to see several articles, TV features and social media write-ups on the subject, giving the mission a wide publicity. "Media has converted its pen into broom... This is a service to the nation," he said adding that he felt indebted by this.

The Prime Minister said although 80 per cent of the media coverage is criticism of governments, this (filth) is an issue which affects the country's image and impacts the poorest most. "For the last 60 years, the thinking was that government has to do everything. Now the thinking is that we all have to work together. This demonstrates how big a role media can play," Modi said. Media had inspired people to take part in the cleanliness exercise, he added.

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