New Delhi, Jan 24: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's office made its debut on microblogging website Twitter on Monday in a move seen as effort to lift approval ratings for his government that had a particularly arduous year in 2011.
The social media foray by the Prime Minister’s office comes close on the heels of prominent television journalist Pankaj Pachauri’s appointment as media adviser to Singh, replacing Harish Khar, the former New Delhi bureau chief of The Hindu newspaper.
Singh, 79, who has often been criticised for being inaccessible to the media, had a especially taxing year in 2011 with several government corruption scandals brought to the fore, the worst of which sees his former telecoms minister languish in jail, pending trial. A burgeoning middle class increasingly frustrated with all-pervasive graft and administrative inefficiencies also weakened Singh’s popularity last year even as his Congress party found itself entangled in complicated coalition politics that stalled long-awaited reforms.
The Prime Minister’s Twitter account, at www.twitter.com/pmoindia, will have regular updates on the Singh’s programmes in near real time and will pair with his newly revamped website to communicate more efficiently with the media and public, a PMO official said. With first tweets on the national awards for a bravery function held at Singh's official residence carrying links to the Prime Minister's speech and photographs on the occasion, the Twitter page had more than 6,000 followers as of early Tuesday.