27 May 2021 ~ 0 Comments

Did PM pep talk with DMs, others breach protocol?

Protocol, anyone?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pep talk to district magistrates on the Covid-19 issue in an online meeting has got some raising the issue of whether it was right for Modi to interact directly with district magistrates and other officials while bypassing their respective ministers. Moreover, the event was telecast live just a few weeks ago, the Centre had objected sharply to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for a live feed during Modi’s meeting with chief ministers.

While seemingly there is nothing wrong with the Prime Minister addressing government officials whenever he chooses to, but the question is about propriety and federalism. District officials work under elected state governments and chief ministers and report to them as well. Bypassing the state governments indicates thumbing one’s nose at the federal structure, which is problematic, it is being said. 

Interestingly, Modi’s interaction follows a similar meeting organized by Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal who spoke directly with state education secretaries, overlooking the state education ministers. This was one reason why the Tamil Nadu government boycotted the meeting.

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