Sunday, April 21, 2024

REPORTERS’ DIARY : Lining up to see PM off, not pen down

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interactions with the media are few and far between. On-on-one is of course the rarest of rare kind. No wonder, even media persons wish to see the PM at close quarters, say for a chance to say ‘Namaste’ gleefully. So, they urged the local party leaders to arrange for at least what in official parlance is called ‘See off line-up’ with the PM. Those who had an occasion to see the inaugural of the Ayodhya Ram temple would remember seeing Mukesh Ambani and a host of industrialists, Amitabh Bachchan and a legion of celebrities greeting Modi from a distance while standing in a line behind rope barriers. If the PMO grants Telangana scribes’ wish for a similar exercise, people should understand that it is not ‘pen down’ strike by scribes, but just courtesy that they are extending to the Prime Minister who loves to keep them at a distance. In fact, even this ‘See off line-up’ on request is not yet confirmed. Although the BJP TS unit mentioned initially that the ‘See off line up’ would be scheduled for scribes on Saturday at 9.30 AM at Begumpet Airport, there were modifications subsequently. Meanwhile, reporters unaware of the protocol sought to know whether they would get a chance to ‘interact’ with Modi. Nobody could give a clear official answer. Instead, a BJP leader observed with dismay: ‘No way, it is not possible’. While reporters reconciled themselves to a ‘See off line-up’, there was another call from the BJP office, stating: ‘We will inform you after some time whether the programme will be there or not, as the PMO has not yet confirmed’. In no time, there was another call, reassuring the reporters that the ‘See off line-up’ for scribes has only been postponed!

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