HYDERABAD: A little over two weeks into her job as national spokesperson of the BJP, Nirmala Sitharaman, finds her new role challenging and a learning experience.
Though never in the party's big league, this alumnus of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, was chosen for her skills of articulation and her academic credentials. Apart from being an M. Phil in Internal Studies from JNU, Ms. Sitharaman was Senior Manager (research and analysis) for Price Waterhouse and New compiler, BBC World Service, Tamil broadcasts, both in the U.K.
On return to India, she joined the BJP, served as a member of the National Commission for Women and as a Director of a model school, Pranava, in Hyderabad. She now plays on the national stage, a role her husband, Parakala Prabhakar, also a JNU product, donned in the State level for the BJP and briefly for the Praja Rajyam.
Ms. Seetharaman works in a team of six spokespersons headed by Mr. Ravishankar Prasad, the chief spokesperson. ‘I find my work a learning experience, not merely because of the tough questions that senior journalists throw at us during the briefings. We have to do much homework by reading the data furnished by the back-room staff”.
How does she tackle the aggressive spokespersons of other parties during television debates. “They are not only aggressive. Some of them can turn offensive and try to belittle you. I have ticked off one of them for hogging the TV time and interrupting me frequently,” she said.