Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday interacted with party workers from Puducherry, Vellore, Kanchipuram, Viluppuram and South Chennai through a video conference-based interaction. PM Modi began his interaction by lauding the energy, enthusiasm and dedication of the BJP Karyakartas towards the BJP and the nation.
No child shouted “the emperor has no clothes” but Nirmal Kumar Jain did tell the Prime Minister that “your government is only busy collecting tax in all manner and in all ways”.
Jain is not a Rahul Gandhi acolyte but a BJP worker from Puducherry who was fortunate enough to have been shortlisted for a videoconference with Narendra Modi on Wednesday with the help of the app named after the Prime Minister.
Modi has taken part in many such interactions, preferring the friendly atmosphere to annoying media conferences. Most questions at such events with party workers are aimed at giving an opportunity to the Prime Minister to underscore the achievements of his government and skewer the Opposition.
On Wednesday, it was the turn of “booth workers” from Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry.
Everything was going according to the script and the Prime Minster was a picture of confidence, listing the achievements of his government. Modi took care to speak mostly in English, keeping in mind the audience was based in southern India.
The unexpected element was injected soon after the Prime Minister had finished speaking on turning the demographic dividend into a development dividend.
“Well, Puducherry people are waiting. Let us now go to Puducherry. (Pauses as the Puducherry hall appears on the screen.) I was fortunate to visit Puducherry earlier this year. Puducherry is very beautiful and has become a tourist spot. Who wants to talk from Puducherry?” Modi greeted everyone.
(A man who had raised his hand is handed the mic. He introduces himself as Nirmal Kumar Jain, who switches between Hindi and English.)
“Honourable Prime Minister… I am grateful for this opportunity to speak to you. My question is the work that you are doing to change the country is undoubtedly a good step but the middle class is of the opinion that your government is only busy collecting tax in all manner and in all ways.
“They did not get the relaxation they were hoping for in IT sector, loan processing procedure and bank transaction fees and penalty. It is my request that take care of the middle class, which is the root of your party, like the way you take care while collecting tax from them. Thank you.” asked Nirmal.
“Thank you, Nirmalji. You are a trader, so it’s normal that you will talk business. (Pauses and makes a faint attempt at chuckling.) I favour taking care of common people and the common people will be taken care of, I assure you.” said Modi.
(Modi looks sideways. Perhaps, he is waiting for another question. But if critics say he looks stumped, it will be hard to contest the claim.)
A few seconds later, it is Modi’s turn to swing between languages and bid goodbye to Jain and seek out the next questioner by greeting the state: “Chaliye. Puducherry ko vanakkam!”
புதுச்சேரி பாஜக நிர்வாகி கேள்விக்கு பதில் சொல்ல முடியாமல் ஓடிய மோடி – செய்தி
இப்பதான் தெரியுது ஏன் இத்தனை வருஷமா இவரு செய்தியாளர்களையே சந்திக்காம ஓட்டிகிட்டு இருக்கார்னு 🤕 pic.twitter.com/4hOjdgj83t
— தமிழன்டா (@AlaTwitz) December 20, 2018