In UPA II of scams, 'silent' PM to concentrate more on PR.


2 May 2011
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New Delhi With only two press conferences with editors in the last several years, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has earned the dubious sobriquet of being the 'silent PM' in these politically noisy days.

Keeping that in mind, and with the clamour growing for direct bytes from the top man himself, there is likely to be a complete makeover of Singh's media strategy -- with results showing as early as tomorrow.

He is expected to speak on major issues to a group of senior editors on Wednesday.

“I am hoping this will become the preferred format for regular interactions between editors and the Prime Minister," Media Advisor to the Prime Minister Harish Khare said.

Singh's interaction tomorrow morning will be the second with senior editors. The Prime Minister had met editors of TV channels in February this year and his last interaction with newspaper editors was in September last.

The transcript of the interaction will be available on the Prime Minister's official website.

With his government facing several burning questions on corruption, the Prime Minister's office now feels the need to project Singh on the forefront, to field questions from the media more often, so that the nation gets a sense of how he is going about tackling these issues.

Apart from the constant carping by the Opposition, who have often demanded explanations from the Prime Minister, civil society activists too have recently become vociferous on his decision to largely remain incommunicado.

The controversy over the Lokpal Bill, which pushed temperatures higher this summer, has left many wondering what the Prime Minister himself thinks about the proposed ombudsman who will check corruption.

Activists led by Anna Hazare have repeatedly said they don't understand the Prime Minister's silence on the Lokpal matter.

Opposition parties feel Singh needs to explain the 'governance deficit' they say has crippled the UPA coalition, reports said.

In an exclusive interview to NDTV earlier this week, Home Minister P Chidambaram had accepted, “Yes, I acknowledge that lots of people would like the Prime Minister to step up to the plate, so as to say, and speak more often. But that is the style of the person."

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