Smriti Irani strikes again, admonishes PTI for photo of Modi, Nitish

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Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, Smriti Irani, has struck again. And once again it’s the news agency PTI, which has had to face the brunt of her anger.

Irani on Sunday took to Twitter expressing her disgust on a tweet by PTI that Bihar chief minister, Nitish Kumar had urged the Centre to allocate funds to strengthen the subordinate judiciary.

The PTI’s tweet had said, “CM Nitish Kumar urges Centre to allocate funds liberally to strengthen subordinate judiciary in Bihar to provide speedy justice to litigants.”

smriti irani pti

The news agency used an image of four individuals who appeared to wearing the masks of Modi and Kumar. Taking cognisance of the two leaders being mocked, Irani tweeted, “is this how elected heads will be projected? Is this your official stand ?”

Within seconds of Irani’s tweet, PTI deleted its post before issuing clarification and apology that the four individuals in the photo were of JDU and BJP workers who had worn the masks of their respective leaders.

Its tweets said, “Picture issued was of JD(U) and BJP workers wearing masks to mark Friendship Day. PTI apologises for hurting sentiments and therefore has withdrawn the picture.”

On 28 July, Irani had publicly admonished PTI after one of its tweets on Ahmedabad floods carried an old photo of Chennai floods. Her intervention had prompted the news agency to terminate the contract with its photographer.

In its statement, the PTI had said, “PTI deeply regrets the error and has terminated the services of the concerned photographer.”

Both BJP and Nitish Kumar’s JDU have recently become friends once again by forming a coalition government in Bihar. Sunday was marked as International Friendship Day, so if a PTI staff felt right to use the photo illustrating the new friendship between Kumar and Modi, it certainly wasn’t a crime, let alone a crime that warranted an apology from the news agency.

 

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