Venu Rajamony, Press Secretary to President Pranab Mukherjee, participated in a live hour-long Facebook question-and-answer session on Sunday evening to mark the completion of four years in office by the President.
Questions flew thick and fast on subjects such as whether Mr. Mukherjee is interested in a second term, why he is endorsing “controversial advice’’ from the Narendra Modi government, be it Central rule in Arunachal Pradesh or Uttarakhand, and what he thinks needs to be done to restore normality in Jammu & Kashmir.
The Press Secretary chose to skip such questions, and stuck to those on the role of the President, initiatives by Mr. Mukherjee in the past four years and procedures for citizens wanting to visit Rashtrapati Bhavan.A big draw
The President’s Office had advertised about the session on Facebook and it was a big draw going by the endless questions.
It had said that the session scheduled from 7.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. would be on the topic “Racing Past Milestones — The Fourth Year of Shri Pranab Mukherjee’s Presidency”.
On the President’s view on central programmes such as Digital India, Swachh Bharat and Skill India, his Press Secretary answered, “President Mukherjee believes these programmes are transformative in nature and their successful implementation will alter the landscape of the country. Citizens of India should dedicate themselves to the cause of the nation and society through constructive contribution to these programmes.”
Some of the questions were: “Sir, what are the President’s views on the current Kashmir situation. Is everything okay or the government should impose President’s rule under a retired Army officer as Governor of J&K?” “Did the President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee give any instruction to Home Ministry regarding Kashmir violence?” “What is the President’s view on Article 356?”‘4H Township’
Answering a question, the Press Secretary maintained that the President had achieved much more than what was set as goals.
“Therefore, the fourth year of the President has been described as ‘Racing Past Milestones’. The President has in the last four years taken a number of initiatives to improve the quality of higher education in the country, open up Rashtrapati Bhavan to the public, promote grassroots innovators, convert the President’s Estate into a ‘4H’ Township — Humane, Hi-tech, Heritage and Happy, which will be a model for the rest of the country.”