Narendra Modi’s trusted aide and Niti Ayog CEO faces social media onslaught after he ‘trolls’ Arvind Kejriwal


On Saturday, we reported how the right-wing trolls on social media had poked fun at the sad demise of the veteran Congress leader Digvijay Singh’s daughter, Karnika Singh.


The most alarming aspect of that social media attack on the grieving family and making fun of a human being’s death was that the BJP supporter trolls gloated about what was an utterly despicable act. This brought in the question of the role of twitter trolls supported and even allegedly paid by the BJP.

But as the weekend gave way to the start of a new week, yet another questionable performance, this time by a senior civil servant and PM Narendra Modi’s close aide, came to light.

On Monday, Amitabh Kant, who is the CEO of Niti Ayog (erstwhile Planning Commission) and a trusted lieutenant of Modi, posted a tweet mocking the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.

While such a tweet would be expected from political adversaries, Kant’s decision to ‘endorse’ a tweet attacking an elected chief minister did not go down well with social media users.

The tweet originally posted by a user ‘@Aladeen in’ attacked Kejriwal taking a dig at the just-ended car rationing Odd-Even scheme. The post also prominently states ‘India Against Presstitutes.”

Kant shared the tweet with his additional comment, “Interesting.”

This left the social media users, mainly neutral journalists and AAP supporters incensed. They condemned Kant’s action and reminded him about conduct rules of a civil servant. While others wondered if as a senior civil servant, Kant endorsed the use of a derogatory word ‘presstitute.’

Gen VK Singh, a minister in Modi’s cabinet, was left hung, drawn and quartered when he referred to a channel’s editor using the term ‘presstitute’ in the past.

Kant, defended his tweet saying he was not a bonded labourer and he too could find things ‘interesting in life.’

The (1A) of Conduct Rules for civil servant says:

It is, in fact, axiomatic that Government servants especially those holding positions of trust and responsibility, should not only be honest and impartial in the discharge of their official duties but also have the reputation of being so… They have observed that in their social relations and dealings, those holding responsible posts should ensure that there is no ground or occasion to suggest that some individuals have greater access or influence with them than others. Government have no doubt that their officers fully appreciate the need for maintaining a high standard of integrity and impartiality and ensuring as far as it lies in their power that their behaviour gives no room for any possible suggestions to the contrary. It is however, requested that these observations should be specifically brought to the notice of all concerned and steps should be taken to include them in the teaching given at training institutions under the Ministry of Finance etc.

Many would argue that by ‘endorsing’ a social media criticism for an elected chief minister, the Niti Ayog CEO has had his ‘reputation of being impartial’ considerably dented.

Here are the tweets being posted condemning Amitabh Kant’s tweet;

True, but for a civil servant of his stature to find a jibe using distasteful language for an elected chief minister, is  far from interesting. Going by the reactions on social media, it seems Kant is indeed likely to have an interesting time ahead.