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Twitter spat over @PMOIndia

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BJP upset as PMO’s twitter handle is reset as @PMOIndiaArchive

The archiving of outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s tweets led to a war of words between the BJP and Dr. Singh’s office on Tuesday.

The archiving was linked to the resetting of the @PMOIndia handle, which has now been renamed @PMOIndiaArchive and has an instant following of 1.24 million. Any new handle must start with zero followers.

Bharatiya Janata Party spokeswoman Nirmala Sitharaman said the haste with which it was done was surprising. “This [Twitter account] is an asset of the government,” she told The Hindu.

Pankaj Pachauri, who worked as Dr. Singh’s communications adviser, however, said the @PMOIndia handle had been surrendered to Twitter after the micro-blogging service approached the PMO. “According to the RTI law, all communications have to be archived and that is what has been done,” Mr. Pachauri told this correspondent.

Asked who made the change, Mr. Pachauri stressed that this had been done by the PMO itself. “A new handle can be started,” he said, adding that @PMOIndiaArchive would be managed by the incoming PMO.

According to Ms. Sitharaman, there were “international protocols” for institutional handles that should have been followed by the outgoing PMO.

Another BJP spokeswoman Meenakshi Lekhi said in a statement: “It is disgraceful, unethical and illegal… the Twitter handle of @PMOIndia… must become available to the new government.”

An active user, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said, “How churlish!!! Just hand over the twitter account. It’s not like Dr. Manmohan Singh was actually using it himself or will use it much now.”

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Printable version | Aug 21, 2019 10:27:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/twitter-spat-over-pmoindia/article6031254.ece

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