Postcard from... Delhi

 

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The Independent Online

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi held his first official “interaction” with the media over the weekend. He told them how important they were, thanked them for publicising a recent campaign he had launched, but declined to take a single question.

“I used to arrange chairs here [in the party’s offices],” he told reporters. “Those were different days when we used to interact freely. I had a beautiful relationship with you.”

As it is, most reporters have been grumbling that since Mr Modi was elected earlier this year, the media has often been cut off by his government. With Mr Modi preferring to make his announcements directly, or on social media, reporters have found themselves short of sources and low on scoops.

There were no scoops to be had from Mr Modi’s interaction either, although he did make a couple of bland statements about the media’s coverage of a recently launched campaign to clean up India. “The Prime Minister cannot pick up the broom alone,” he said. “You have turned your pen into a broom, and I think this is a huge service.”

Mr Modi’s tactics of flattering reporters appears to have paid off, and some of them even posed for snaps with the PM. And all newspapers devoted decent space to it the next morning.

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