Modi lauds media for turning 'pen into broom'

PM seeks to build relationship with the press at BJP-organised 'Diwali Milan'

Modi lauds media for turning 'pen into broom'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday met journalists for the first time after assuming office.

In a bid to change the notion that he avoided the media, Modi sought to send out the message that he wants to rebuild his relationship with it. The occasion was “Diwali Milan”, organised by the BJP's media cell at the party headquarters in Delhi.

Recalling his days as a BJP functionary in Delhi, when he used to stay at the party headquarters as an office-bearer before becoming chief minister of Gujarat, Modi said, “I used to put chairs here for you people. Those were different days, when we used to interact freely. I had a beautiful relationship with you and it helped me in Gujarat.”

He added, “Even though times have changed, I look for ways to deepen these old ties with the media. I will see to it that, time constraints notwithstanding, we interact with each other better.”

Modi, who has had stormy ties with the national media since the 2002 Gujarat riots, said: “When I interact with the media, I get not only information, but also a different perspective. By interacting directly, one gets to know things which mediapersons cannot report. Not only does one get information but also vision, which is very valuable.”

Modi praised the media for the coverage and reporting of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. “You have turned your pen into a broom for my Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. I have read many articles on Clean India. Electronic and social media are doing a comprehensive debate on it. This is a service to the nation. This is a good example of how the media can play a constructive role.”

He added, “Many governments are being forced to wake up. Writing about the Clean India drive is a big service to the nation. I thank you for it. Since Independence, it was believed that the government would do everything. But the media is encouraging people to work for the nation. There is now an environment where citizens are realising that they have to work together.”

After his barely-10-minute-long statement, Modi moved into the crowd, mingling freely with journalists. Some of them jostled to take “selfies” with him, and Modi happily obliged.

Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Piyush Goel, Dharmendra Pradhan, Prakash Javadekar and BJP president Amit Shah were also present at the venue. Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley had to leave midway to chair a meeting.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get the top news in your inbox
GET IT
Comments (+)