ManHandled: Outgoing PMO team tweets agony!
Reacting to the move, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman ?said, ‘As per established protocol, there should be a handling over communication assets to the next dispensation.’ She also posted on Twitter: ‘Isn’t @PMOIndia for communication from the Prime Minister’s Office? An institutional handle which should continue seamlessly. Surprised!’
On similar lines, Delhi MP and BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi said, ‘The Twitter account @PMOIndia is a national digital asset. It is disgraceful, unethical and illegal the way the outgoing team has handled this account.’ Explaining the issue, Sitharaman said, ‘The PMO is an institution which communicates with the people of India through traditional method which is Press Information Bureau (PIB) or through modern channels such as social media websites like Twitter or Facebook, the word of the prime minister. Just like bureaucracy continues irrespective of the transition of the government, so should the communication wing of the PMO. Similar to the PIB the PMO Twitter handle is a communication medium which is used to spread the word of the PM to the people of the country. There should be a seamless continuity irrespective of the fact that a new government comes in.’
Reacting to this issue, the official Twitter handle of BJP @BJP4India on Tuesday said, ‘We hope better sense prevails, tweets of outgoing @PMOIndia are archived according to legal procedures and clean transition takes place.’ ‘It is ungraceful, unethical and illegal in the way outgoing team in @PMOIndia has handled the transition of this National Digital asset... Continuity in governance and all government assets is the hallmark of Indian constitution. @PMOIndia is a National digital asset,’ read another set of tweets from the handle.
Pankaj Pachauri, outgoing PM’s media advisor and also the man who is responsible for the official twitter account for PMO, justifying the move tweeted, ‘This is an office account and the office continues to manage it. The handover is being facilitated.’ In another tweet he said, ‘An advisory- All our official communications are being archived according to the RTI Act. Copyrights and control remain with the office.’