Smriti Irani questions PTI for posting Modi-Nitish friendship day picture, gets it removed
New Delhi, August 8: Smriti Irani, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting would make sure that she continues to take strong decisions and actions. On Monday, she contacted the news agency Press Trust of India which gives news stories and photographs on major issues in India.
The main issue which caught the attention of the Information and Broadcasting Minister was a tweet put up by the Press Trust of India which showcased men in Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar masks celebrating Friendship day. The connection between the image and the story was that Nitish Kumar was pleading the Centre to share funds for the lower judiciary in Bihar. Smriti Irani was offended by the photograph and tweeted by expressing her disapproval and questioned the official stand of Press Trust of India.
Press Trust of India gave reply and erased the tweet. They also released the picture separately to all the media outlets but later issued a ‘kill’ alert. An apology was also issued and said that the picture was withdrawn.
Smriti Irani said that this is the second time which has caused the news agency to apologise. Previously, the reason to express disapproval was less arguable. Earlier, the caption for a picture of floods at the Chennai airport was ‘flood at the Ahmedabad airport’ and it was used by the major newspapers before Irani noticed the mistake. The photographer was held responsible for the mistake and was later dismissed. Press Trust of India said they felt sorry for the mistake.
Although the flood photograph was a clear fault and Irani pointed it right, Press Trust of India’s fault in the present case was hard to detect. The picture is political workers wearing masks of leaders. The masks are not illegal and were worn at many political rallies as a symbol of support. In addition, Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar are partners in Bihar. So, illustrating them as friends would hardly be a problem.