THE WORDY WARRIOR
Clearly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s habit of coining acronyms is catching on with the Union Council of Ministers. Speaking to NewsX, MoS Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha coined GST as the Grand Simplification of Taxes and said that “In Hindi I would call it Gantantra ka Suvidha Tantra (Republic’s Instrument of Simplicity). Interestingly, when he is not coining acronyms, he is busy defending the Modi government in his blogs, where he recently penned a piece titled, “The Reality of Reforms”. This was to take on the Economist, which recently claimed that Modi was not as much of a reformer as he claimed to be. Sinha’s column was a direct rebuttal of this. Clearly, the MoS is emerging as one of Modi’s more articulate sound-bite warriors.
Prime Minister Modi was very keen to have Dr Manmohan Singh at the GST launch ceremony. He wanted the former PM on the dais with him. Initially, the media was told that Dr Singh would be attending, along with H.D. Deve Gowda, another ex PM. But the Congress was not too happy about this, especially as the party as a whole decided to boycott the event. And so Manmohan Singh “was told” to decline his little tryst with history. This led former editor Sanjaya Baru to quip that two women kept two GST heroes away from the historic Parliament event. He was referring to Sonia Gandhi, who ensured that Dr Singh did not attend a project he had been espousing as PM, and also to Mamata Bannerjee, who also boycotted the event and therefore her Finance Minister, Amit Mitra could not attend it.
FACT CHECKING GOVERNANCE
Journalist Uday Mahurkar’s book on the Modi government at midterm (Marching with a Billion) has some interesting anecdotes about the nuts and bolts of the government. For instance, he relates one anecdote about the PM’s habit of collaring ministers whenever he sees them and asking for progress reports—like he suddenly asked Piyush Goyal about the number of LED bulbs sold so far. After this the enterprising Goyal has started posting the ministry figures daily on his Twitter timeline. Another interesting nugget is that the PMO actually monitors the Twitter timeline of the Council of Ministers and a weekly report is prepared analysing the tweets.