New Delhi: The Prime Minister’s Office Tuesday changed the Twitter handle of the PMO – two days before BJP leader Narendra Modi takes oath as the next prime minister, provoking the BJP to term it an “ungraceful and unethical” move by the outgoing establishment.
The Twitter handle, @PMOIndia, begun during the tenure of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was changed to @PMOIndiaArchive Tuesday.
Arvind Gupta, the head of the Bharatiya Janata Party IT Cell, posted his indignation: “By renaming @PMOIndia, it showed the world for a while India didn’t have a PM’s office, that there was lack in continuity.”
“The process of transition of the PMO Twitter account has been ungraceful and unethical on part of the current establishment,” he wrote.
“Continuity in governance and all government assets is the hallmark of the Indian Constitution. The twitter account of PMO is a national asset.”
“Hope better sense prevails and the outgoing PMO team archives the national digital asset as per established norms and legal procedures,” he added.
The prime minister’s communications advisor Pankaj Pachauri, in a tweet, posted an advisory: “All our official communications are being archived according to the RTI Act. Copyrights and control remain with the office.”
“The PMO is in touch with the Twitter office. We are surrendering the official account,” an official source told IANS.
But the move provoked angry comments on Twitter.
“Why the outgoing team renamed @PMOIndia as @PMOIndiaArchive ????? Failed to understand the logic. It is supposed to official handle of PMO’s,” posted Srikrishnaprasad G.
“This is very unprofessional of the outgoing PMO media team not to have handed over the digital assets. Come on guys leave with some grace,” said Umakant Majhi.
Modi is among the most Twitter savvy of politicians, unlike Manmohan Singh. Modi has over four million followers on Twitter and has posted over 5,000 tweets so far.
The PMO account of Manmohan Singh, with his face as the display picture, has over 1.24 million followers.